The Zimbabwe government has pledged 304 soldiers to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Standby Force Mission in Mozambique to train an infantry battalion-size unit at a time.

This was revealed by Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri while briefing journalists at Defence Headquarters in Harare on Thursday morning.

She said the contingent will consist of 303 instructors and one specialist officer to the coordinating mechanism of the SADC Force Headquarters in Maputo.

“While other countries have to deploy combat troops, Zimbabwe pledged to assist in the training of Mozambique armed forces to enhance their capability to combat terrorism,” Said Muchinguri-Kashiri.

The minister said the contingent will be sent to Mozambique once the Status of Force Agreement has been signed.

She said in terms of Section 214 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Parliament will be informed accordingly.

Meanwhile, Botswana sent 296 troops to Mozambique on Monday while Rwanda, a non-SADC member, sent 1 000 troops earlier this month.

Last month, SADC resolved to send troops to fight Islamist insurgents in the oil-rich Cabo Delgado region.

The civil unrest has claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people while an estimated 800,000 people have been displaced.

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