South Africa will send 1,495 troops to Mozambique to help the country battle jihadist militants wreaking havoc in the north of the gas-rich nation, parliament said Wednesday.
In a statement, parliament said President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised the deployment to support Mozambique in its fight against “acts of terrorism and violent extremists”.
Attacks have escalated in northern Mozambique over the past year, fuelling fears that the violence could spill over into neighbouring countries.
The insurgency has claimed more than 3,100 lives, according to conflict data tracker ACLED, and displaced more than 800,000 people, according to President Filipe Nyusi.
The three-month mission for South Africa’s force, effective from July 15 to October 15, is part of a deal agreed last month by the 16 nations of the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC).
South Africa becomes the latest regional country to contribute troops to Mozambique after Botswana. Earlier this month, Rwanda sent in 1,000 forces.
SADC approved the deployment of its “Standby Force” late last month to help quell the jihadist insurgency which has been raging since 2017.