The government is reportedly exploring sending 5 Brigade troops to combat insurgents in the conflict-ridden northern Cabo Delgado region of Mozambique.
This comes after an extraordinary summit of the heads of state and government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) held in Maputo on 23 June approved the mandate for the SADC Standby Force mission to Mozambique to be deployed to combat terrorism in that country.
The NewsHawks reported a security source as saying soldiers from the Kwekwe-based 5 Brigade, together with some highly skilled personnel from the country’s elite forces, are expected to be the first servicemen to be deployed to Mozambique should President Emmerson Mnangagwa fulfil the SADC resolution. Said the source:
The 5 Brigade is in military lingo known as the standby brigade. Unlike the other four units that are strategically positioned at the country’s different zones covering borders, 5 Brigade is always on standby for deployment.
If you look at 1 Brigade, whose HQ is in Bulawayo, one of its duties through one of its battalions is to secure the Plumtree border post.
2 Brigade covers the Chirundu border, 3 Brigade the eastern border and 4 Brigade the south-western areas. But with 5 Brigade, it’s always on standby for such deployments.
Another security source said this would not be the first time the 5 Brigade is deployed to neighbouring Mozambique. The source was quoted as saying:
In line with what the technical team decides, this unit will work with special forces such as the commando regiment, paratroopers and Special Air Services who will carry out varying tasks during this deployment.
The 5 Brigade was involved in previous missions such as Operation Grapefruit in the early ‘80s where it was deployed to defend a strategic railway line from Beira to the Zimbabwean border from attacks by the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo).
When The NewsHawks tried to get a comment from Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri to comment on the latest developments in Mozambique, her aide said she was in a meeting with President Mnangagwa.
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