sadc news

Aug. 10, 2021

STAFF REPORTER

2 min read

LDF to remain in Mozambique for a while

LDF to remain in Mozambique for a while

Members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF)

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LDF’s Public Relations Officer, Captain Sakeng Lekola says although the Rwandan army has recovered some of the provinces that had been captured by rebels in Mozambique, Lesotho’s army will remain in that war-torn southern African country for a while.

He said it is too early to predict as to how long the LDF will be in that country given that the Rwandans’ was not a total defeat of the rebel forces.

“LDF has a minimum stay period of three months, which is subject to extension, depending on the situation on the ground,” Captain Lekola said.
The Peace Enforcement mission duration he said, depends on what happens on the ground, adding that thereafter, a Peace-Keeping mission will follow.  

“I cannot say how long the Peace-Keeping mission will last but its minimum duration is six months,” he said.

LDF on Sunday sent a Contingent Advanced Team of 12 soldiers including the Contingent Commander to Cabo Gelgado, Mozambique.

Captain Lekola said the team left behind other 113 members so that they would prepare for the main deployment of the team.

The remaining soldiers are expected to leave once Angola has provided the airlift for the military equipment that will be used in Mozambique.

Last month Rwanda sent 1,000 soldiers to Mozambique to fight the militants. On Sunday Rwandan and Mozambican troops reportedly recaptured the rebels' stronghold of Mocímboa da Praia.

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The mission is funded by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) with a budget of over M100 million.
More than 3 000 people have already been killed and 820 000 displaced since the Islamist insurgency in Cabo Delgado began in 2017.
Doctors Without Borders had earlier reported that the attacks on Palma, Cabo Delgado province in northeastern Mozambique, at the end of March drove thousands of terrified people from their homes.
It reported that “people fleeing headed for Afungi, located about 25 kilometres away and also Pemba. Many are still riven with fear, with no news of the whereabouts of their loved ones. Many families were separated when people were evacuated from Afungi, as priority was given to women, children, the elderly and disabled and those who were seriously injured''. LeNA

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