Following the deployment of a multinational force last year, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa claims that “significant progress” has been made in combating a militant insurgency in northern Mozambique.

Ramaphosa, who chairs the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) defence and security committee, gave the update at a summit convened to assess regional developments.

Six months ago, SADC members and Rwanda stepped in to help the besieged Mozambican army, bringing in over 3,000 troops.

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“Significant progress has been made since the deployment,” Ramaphosa said in his opening remarks at the two-day talks in Malawi’s capital.

“The security situation in Cabo Delgado is improving, and some internally displaced people have been able to return to their homes and resume their normal lives,” he said.

Regional forces, working alongside Mozambican troops, have aided in the creation of “safe passage” for humanitarian aid into jihadist-infested areas, he said.

In July, the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) was deployed, but in October, its mandate was extended indefinitely.

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Since 2017, attacks by Islamic State-linked militants have engulfed Cabo Delgado, a gas-rich province bordering Tanzania.

At least 3,500 people have died, with an estimated 820,000 displaced.

Massacres, beheadings, house fires, and mass kidnappings, particularly of girls, are examples of atrocities.

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