Gaborone – Botswana Defence Forces (BDF) Commander, Lieutenant-General Placid Segokgo, has warned that the insurgency in oil-rich northern Mozambique threatens the peace and stability of the entire Southern Africa region.
Appearing before the Botswana Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, Lt-Gen Segokgo said attacks by Islamist militants in Cabo Delgado should not be taken lightly.
“… terrorism, particularly the insurgency in Cabo Delgado in Mozambique, is a very serious threat. It is not on our shores but it is a threat that moves very dynamically,” he warned.
Lt-Gen Segokgo said the region could not sit on its laurels as the terrorism unfolded as it could spread across Southern Africa.
“It’s a situation that we as a member of SADC cannot just turn a blind eye to,” he said.
He said legislators must support military establishments budget-wise, pointing out that Mozambique had trimmed defence spending only to be faced with an insurgency.
“Mozambique is caught in a situation where previously they were told they were (enjoying) dividends of peace (and) they needed not invest in security.”
Reports indicate that the Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah insurgents are mainly recruiting young Mozambicans, and authorities have also arrested dozens of citizens of fellow SADC member and neighbor Tanzania who are accused of working with the terrorists.
Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah claims it is advancing an Islamic State cause of creating a Caliphate of the Central African Province.