Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi has ordered the hiring of South African defence companies Paramount and Dyck Advisory Group to provide ground and air military support in the fight against terrorism in Cabo Delgado province, Africa Intelligence reported today.
As part of the deal, the two South African companies will “substantially” strengthen the military capacity of the Armed Forces of Mozambique and the Police under contracts negotiated “in person” with the Mozambican head of state.
The publication said that Paramount, which according to South African defence sources delivered five Marauder military combat vehicles to the Mozambique army in Cabo Delgado last November, “is training the Mozambican military to handle the vehicles on the outskirts of the Mozambican capital” and is preparing the delivery of “seven more vehicles [Marauder]” to Maputo.
Africa Intelligence writes that “the deal with Paramount negotiated personally by Nyusi and his defence minister Jaime Neto, with company director Eric Ichikowitz, the younger son of founder Ivor Ichikowitz, also covers the supply of four Gazelle helicopters, currently being adapted in South Africa for delivery in February next year, to provide airborne military support to the Mozambican Armed Forces in counter-insurgency operations in the north of the country.
In addition, 15 Mozambican combat pilots are being trained under the guidance of veteran experts from the former South African Defence Force (SADF) at the Paramount Technical Training Academy based at Polokwane International Airport in north-east South Africa, the publication says.
The former Rhodesian military officer Lionel Dyck of the Dyck Advisory Group (DAG), has renewed his contract with the Commander of the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM), Bernardino Rafael, to continue to provide the military air support that he has been providing since April, he said.
According to Africa Intelligence, Lionel Dyck also has the assistance of military equipment supplier Panzer Logistics and international security consultant STTEP International, a company of South African Eeben Barlow, which in the 1990s created Executive Outcomes (EO), the first private military security company in Africa.
Cabo Delgado province, where the largest private investment in Africa is currently being made for natural gas exploration, has been under insurgent attack for three years and some of the raids have been claimed by the ‘jihadist’ Islamic state group since 2019.
The armed violence in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, is causing a humanitarian crisis with around 2,000 deaths and 560,000 displaced people, without housing or food, mainly concentrated in the provincial capital, Pemba.
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