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The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Extraordinary Summit has approved the mandate to deploy the regional standby force to Mozambique.

The country which is hosting the meeting is battling terrorism and insurgents in the northern region of Cabo Delgado.

The 16-member bloc has been grappling with how to respond to the conflict in which thousands have been killed since 2017.

The insurgency, led by an Islamist group known as the Sunnar (popularly known locally as Al-Shabaab), has destabilized the region since October 2017. Its strength has grown tremendously since last year. In October it made a daring raid on one of the major towns in the north, Mocimbao da Praia. And then in March this year it targeted foreign contract workers, including South Africans.

After months of deliberations and disagreements on what would be the best response to the instability and terrorism in the region- a decision to deploy forces …