Maphwanya not deny reports that the SANDF would deploy air force Rooivalk helicopters and said additional troops were ready to be deployed, with the SA navy frigate, the SAS Spioenkop, already patrolling the Mozambican Channel to counter the insurgency’s maritime capabilities.
“Five hundred specially trained infantry and special forces operators are in Mozambique. Another 1,495 troops are ready for operational deployment as and when necessary.”
SANDF troops, as part of the Samim force, had been operating alongside troops from Mozambique and Rwanda.
Rwanda and Mozambique have a bilateral security agreement, which has seen hundreds of Rwandan soldiers deployed in Mozambique.
Maphwanya said as part of Operation Buffalo, which took place between October 2021 and January, Samim forces, including SANDF personnel, had been involved in intense fighting.
“In the fighting, numerous bases were destroyed, 31 enemy fighters killed and 16 women, 12 elderly people and eight children, who had been kidnapped by the enemy, were rescued.
“Samim forces recovered an assortment of weapons, including RPG7 grenade launchers, PKM machineguns, hand grenades and AK47 assault rifles. Also recovered was electronic equipment, including cellphones, which have provided useful information on the enemy.”
The SANDF continued to inflict heavy losses on “these enemies and terrorists”.