LETTER: Specialised unit could deter Mozambique insurgents

2021-04-12 11:58:00 PM

Drones and helicopters would provide surveillance

Picture: SUPPLIEDFurther to my letter on the Islamist threat in Cabo Delgado, which predated the recent attack, the newspapers are now full of articles on what to do about it (“Islamic State a stain moving through Africa”, April 6).This weekend one publication pointed out that a full-scale military force might start an African Afghanistan, tying down troops for years and costing a fortune. A token presence would be just as bad, opening up limited forces to hit-and-run attacks, the preferred methodology in this type of insurgency.

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However, there is an alternative that might beat the insurgents at their own game. This requires the establishment of a sophisticated counterinsurgency unit of perhaps 1,000 men, who even Mozambique could supply. I’m sure the Americans and Europeans would be willing to provide training and support, and in particular surveillance and communication equipment, which will be vital.

An area of at least 10km-20km deep on the Mozambique border would have to be cleared of civilians, assuming there are any left, in which helicopters and drones could operate without causing collateral damage. Once the insurgents realise that the minute they step across the border there is a high likelihood they will be detected and killed, the sooner they will come to the negotiating table. It’s been done before — it can be done again.   headtopics.com

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