Wednesday , October 28 2020

US asks Zimbabwe to help put down extremists in Mozambique


The US asked Zimbabwe to help put down an insurgency in neighbouring Mozambique that’s destabilising a region rich in natural gas, people familiar with the matter said.
The request came in a phone call between US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Tibor Nagy and Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo last week, the people said, asking not to be identified because the content of the talks hasn’t been made public. The foreign minister asked that the US first drop targeted sanctions against
Zimbabwean officials, the people said.
Mozambique has been struggling to suppress the IS-affiliated group that’s destabilising a region where nearly $60 billion in investment in natural gas facilities are planned by companies including Total SE and Exxon Mobil Corp.
While Zimbabwe is in a state of economic collapse, its army is battle-hardened with its troops having fought in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as having supported US operations in Angola and Somalia.
Zimbabwe has a long history of involvement in neighbouring Mozambique. The guerrilla army affiliated to its ruling party used Mozambique as a base from which to launch attacks on then White-ruled Rhodesia in a 1970s liberation war.
Zimbabwean troops intervened to quell a rebellion by extremists affiliated to Mozambique’s opposition Renamo party in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Mozambican port of Beira is key for landlocked Zimbabwe’s imports.
Mozambique estimates that the insurgency in northeastern Cabo Delgado province has forced about 300,000 people to flee their homes. The extremists have repeatedly taken control of the Mocimboa da Praia port this year.
Moyo, an army general who played a key part in a coup in which Robert Mugabe was ousted as Zimbabwe’s president in 2017, can’t be seen to be cooperating with the US unless the sanctions are scrapped, the people said.
Moyo told Nagy that Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa shares the US’s concerns about the extremists and that the two nations share strategic interests elsewhere, but sanctions remain an obstacle, the people said.

About Admin

Check Also

Bangkok weighs creating committee to end protests

Bloomberg Thai lawmakers are weighing a proposal to set up a committee to explore ways ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *