South Africa : President Ramaphosa Warns Jihadists
This was during a memorial service marking the 35th Anniversary of the tragic death of Mozambique’s former President Samora Machal.
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to go after Islamist insurgents wreaking havoc in the north of the country. "I have one message for those insurgents. We will come after you and make sure that Mozambique becomes a country where you will not spread violence," he said.
He made the statement on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 while presiding over activities marking the 35th Anniversary of the death of Mozambique's first President, Samora Machel. For hours, Mr Ramaphosa and Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi led a memorial event at the sight of the plane crash that killed Machel while flying home from a conference in Zambia. On October 19, 1986, a Russian Tupolev airplane carrying Machel crashed into Lebombo Mountain in South Africa near the border with Mozambique, killing 35 people. Machel's crash remains a mystery, but speculation has lingered that it was linked to tensions between Mozambique and the then-apartheid regime in South Africa. An investigation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 1994 was inconclusive as to the cause of the crash.
Ramaphosa paid tribute to Machel for his contribution to the fight against colonial and apartheid rule in Southern Africa, urging the region to “continue with the struggle” for freedoms. “It is for this reason that the peoples of southern Africa have all decided, collectively, to act in solidarity to help the people of Mozambique to push out and to fight the insurgents who are spreading conflict, insecurity and violence.”
The 16-nation SADC bloc has deployed troops in northern Mozambique since July. The conflict has since 2017 killed more than 3,300 people and displaced around 800,000 others. South Africa has sent almost 1,500 troops to Mozambique to help its neighbour battle jihadists wreaking havoc in the gas-rich north of the country as part of the multinational force there. The operation is expected to cost the country more about $66 million.