ZIMBABWE is coming under growing pressure to deploy soldiers in Mozambique, amid fears that the insurgency there could spill over into the country with devastating consequences.
This comes as President Emmerson Mnangagwa is scheduled to join his Southern African Development Community (Sadc) counterparts tomorrow in emergency meetings in Maputo, to deal with the matter.
It also comes after the government said Zimbabwe would not individually deploy troops in northern Mozambique, where the insurgents have killed more than 2 500 people and displaced 700 000 others since October 2017.
Opposition parties said yesterday that the crisis in Mozambique would destabilise the Zimbabwean economy if Harare did not intervene in the crisis through Sadc.
“The Mozambique insurgency is likely to have an impact on Zimbabwe because we share key rail and road links … on top of that we have an oil pipeline that runs through the country.
“So, any disruption to these will lead to a negative economic impact,” MDC president Douglas Mwonzora’s spokesperson Lloyd Damba told the Daily News yesterday.
“The crisis in Mozambique has the potential to destabilise the whole region, not just Mozambique and Zimbabwe alone.
“The situation in Palma, in particular, does not affect Zimbabwe alone just by looking at its proximity to Tanzania and Malawi, and hence we insist that Sadc must act expeditiously to avert the spread of that war,” he added.
MDC Alliance secretary for international relations, Gladys Hlatshwayo, also said there was a need for urgent intervention.
“We submit that a well-thought-out regional response through the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security is urgently needed to help our brothers and sisters in Mozambique.
“Sadc must act in consultation with the government of Mozambique and other relevant stakeholders to put a stop to the insurgency and address the challenges in the troubled region,” Hlatshwayo told the Daily News.
In a statement yesterday, Sadc said it was deeply concerned about the continued terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado.
“The extraordinary double Troika Summit will be preceded by the Extraordinary Organ Troika Summit which will also take place on the 8th of April 2021, as well as the supporting technical meetings on the 7th of April 2021,” it said.
This comes as the violent armed rebellion in Mozambique is getting worse.
Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba said last week that Zimbabwe would only get involved in the conflict as part of a Sadc force.
“It (any intervention) must be a Sadc initiative. Why should Zimbabwe deploy alone? It needs all Sadc countries like what (Botswana) President Mokgweetsi Masisi told you (the media).
“He is the chairman of the organ on politics, defence and security cooperation. It’s a regional question and it will require a regional response. There is no time for single heroism. We work as a region,” he said.
Masisi was in Harare last week where he met Mnangagwa to discuss, among other things, the deteriorating situation in Cabo Delgado.-Daily Sun