Details remain scanty but media reports indicate that a small contingent of the South African forces and those from Botswana arrived early this week in Cabo Delgado, the northernmost province of Mozambique. South African Special Forces arrived in Pemba on Monday as part of the larger expected Southern African Development Community (SADC) force, along with members of the Botswana Defence Force, it is reported. According to reports, this SADC advance team is not expected to be immediately involved in direct combat operations against the terrorists. Their main mission, as reported, is to gather intelligence, conduct reconnaissance, advise the Mozambican military, and prepare command and control structures for a potential deployment of the full SADC brigade of up to 3,000 personnel that may be deployed if deemed necessary. Its exact deployment date is not yet known. This comes nearly two weeks after Kigali, at the request of Maputo, deployed 1,000 troops to Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado region to help fight terrorists, stabilise the area and restore the authority of the state. Rwanda, Mozambique forces move in on insurgents Rwandan troops were sent to work closely with Mozambique Armed Defence Forces (FADM) and forces from SADC, in the fight against terrorism in Cabo Delgado. Reports indicate that Rwandan and Mozambican forces have already moved into offensive and defensive positions in some areas of Cabo Delgado and even engaged and repulsed the insurgents. On Tuesday, reports from Mozambique indicated that a joint operation of Rwandan troops and Mozambique forces launched an attack on insurgents in Mocímboa da Praia. Rwandan forces are reported to have deployed to the town of Nangade in Nangade district, west of the coastal region of Palma and other areas ready to take the battle to the insurgents. However, The New Times has not been able to confirm South African media reports that up to 30 insurgents were killed during the operations against the insurgents. A SADC Standby Force was initially meant to deploy there on July 15. Mozambiques defence minister, Jaime Neto, is quoted telling agencies that Mozambique signed the instruments of authority last week, and dispatched a formal request to SADC headquarters in Gaborone, Botswana. A South African general, it is reported, would be the SADC force commander. Last week, the European Union (EU) approved a military training mission in Mozambique to support the countrys armed forces - in military training, including operational preparation, specialised training in counter-terrorism, and training and education in the protection of civilians. In October 2017, armed extremists linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched an insurgency in Cabo Delgado. The group sometimes calls themselves al-Shabaab, although they do not have known links with the Somali al-Shabaab. For months, the Mozambique Defence Armed Forces have been battling the extremists. Many civilians have been displaced by the fighting. The militants have launched attacks, and in August 2020 seized the port town of Mocimboa da Praia. More than 50 people were beheaded by terrorists in the province in April 2020 and a similar number in November 2020. In September 2020, the ISIL insurgents captured Vamizi Island in the Indian Ocean. On March 24, the militants seized Palma, murdering dozens of civilians displacing more than 35,000 of the towns 75,000 residents.