The donation includes protective assault vehicles, military utility trucks, mine detectors, generators, personnel protective gear, tents, sleeping bags, beds and mattresses, computers, printers, cameras, conference furniture, projectors, sound systems and other accessories. The donation was received by SAMIM Head of Mission Professor Mpho Molomo and senior mission staff, in the presence of a delegation from the African Union (AU) Commission, led by its Director of Conflict Management, Dr Alhaji Bah.
The AU Commission expressed its appreciation to China for its generous and timely support to SAMIM, which is facing operational challenges such as being under-equipped, under-financed, and under-manned. The AU Commission also reiterated its commitment to work closely with SADC and the government and people of Mozambique to address the crisis posed by the terrorist groups operating in Cabo Delgado.
Last year, the Chinese government led by President xi Jinping promised to provide some military aid to the Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) forces fighting insurgents in Cabo Delgado.
SAMIM is a regional bloc intervention force comprising of eight SADC countries – Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia – in addition to a thousand-strong contingent from Rwanda. The mission was launched in August 2021, following the approval of the SADC Standby Force to deploy troops to Mozambique to assist the national defence and security forces to combat the ISCAP insurgency, which has killed thousands of people and displaced hundreds of thousands more since 2017.
SAMIM has achieved significant success in recapturing some of the areas that were under the control of the insurgents, such as the strategic port town of Mocimboa da Praia, which was liberated in August 2021. However, the mission is still facing resistance from the insurgents, who have reportedly regrouped and launched attacks in other parts of Cabo Delgado. SAMIM requires technical, financial, logistical, and essential weaponry resources to effectively carry out its mandate and restore peace and stability in Mozambique.