Photo: 2021: Rhodesian Fire-force type tactics in a modern War: Whites kicking ass in a Black War

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[Here is something really interesting. Last year already, on the phone, I was getting information and messages about this group of mostly White mercenaries who were kicking ass in Mozambique. The owner of the company is actually a White Rhodesian, born in Rhodesia in 1944. I had been following the events in Mozambique where the Black Muslims were seizing a chunk of territory in Northern Mozambique. The owner of this Mercenary outfit is Lionel Dyck, who was in the Rhodesian army in the 1970s and in the Zimbabwean army in the 1980s. From what I could grasp, he had an "army" of about 30 men, most of them White, but also some Blacks there. They were paid mercenaries for the Black Communist Frelimo Government who run Mozambique. They mostly used Gazelle helicopters it seemed – only a few, and they were fighting the Black Muslims from the air. I think (I could be wrong) that they had less than 5 helicopters. Maybe 3 or so – I think. And with these helicopters they were succeeding in beating back the small Muslim army, and they seemed to inflict heavy casualties on them. Then the Blacks began complaining that they were committing atrocities, and then the Mozambican Government ended their contract. Since then, these approximately 30 guys, many of whom I might add were White men aged 60 and OLDER – Dyck himself is 77! These old White guys, most of whom are South Africans who were in the Apartheid military, the SADF, were really kicking ass with their little helicopters and AK47s. Since then, they've been replaced by probably more than 3,000 Black troops, including 2 helicopters, who have made some headway. But you are looking at a force that is 100x larger than what these Whites had. Below is the first time that I've seen Dyck making a proper public statement about the fighting. Below is also the only photo I have of a helicopter that they put a proper machinegun into. This is identical to the original Rhodesian Fire-force tactic that was used extensively in the 1970s. But my understanding was that they often fought simply by firing AK47s from the air from these same helicopters. It would definitely like to get more information on what they were doing and how they were doing it. Information is very scant, and this is the first time I've come across something that they openly stated. Dyck isn't particularly a "Rhodesian hero". His own past shows that he developed a loyalty to, and closeness to the Black Communist, Manangagwa, who replaced Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Dyck definitely has ties to senior Blacks. He originally was involved in anti-poaching work. But as can be seen, when a bunch of White men, even OLD WHITE MEN, get into action with some relatively simple military equipment, they do extremely well. They were unquestionably holding off the Muslims and giving them a hard time. It is my guess, but I can't be sure, that DAG may even have killed many more of these Black Muslims than the subsequent armies from 3 Black countries have. I might be wrong. But it is a case of some White excellence, and also proof that the tactics and methods that Whites honed, decades ago, definitely still work. I would love to know more about what DAG did and I hope I can get more information in the months and years to come. Jan]

Private military contractors (PMCs) were vital to the survival of Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province before the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Rwanda deployed in mid-2021 to combat insurgents, maintains Lionel Dyck, head of Dyck Advisory Group (DAG).

Speaking at a recent defenceWeb online event on Countering the Insurgency in Mozambique, Dyck explained that his company began operations in Cabo Delgado in September 2019 on behalf of the Mozambican police. “What we did achieve was to ensure insurgents didn’t get in to Pemba. They were at the gates of Pemba.”

“When we left in March [2021] we were the smallest mercenary force ever deployed in a situation, with a couple of helicopters and some of my expert men,” Dyck said. As DAG did not have ground forces, it relied on helicopters to target the insurgents, who were in command on the ground. “We managed to hold them [insurgents] up for a year without ground forces,” he said.

Dyck believes DAG could have recaptured Mocimboa da Praia from the insurgents had there been the political will and if they had had ground forces combined. “With air support we could have easily escorted troops into Mocimboa da Praia and recaptured it.” The town was eventually retaken by Rwandan and Mozambican troops in August last year.

Dyck emphasised that DAG always operated in support of the government and never went off on its own. Whenever they went into action, there would always be a Mozambican general present. “We never engaged anything a Mozambican general didn’t agree we could engage. Sometimes we are not going to engage and they said we must and we said no.”

DAG was not the first PMC to operate in Mozambique, with Russia’s Wagner Group briefly active in late 2019. After a number of Wagner soldiers were killed by insurgents, Wagner departed Mozambique.

PMCs are hired because governments cannot cope themselves, Dyck said. “Every country in the world that calls on PMCs does so because their own ability to deal with the problem doesn’t exist. It buys time for the government to train, equip and deal with own forces. At the same time it creates a climate for government to re-establish law and order.”

Dyck believes mercenary forces did what they could and it is now up to the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) to ensure security. “PMCs were vital to the survival of Cabo Delgado and Pemba,” until SADC forces arrived, Dyck said.

He questioned whether the Rwandan and SADC forces were mercenaries too, as they are being paid to fight – “the difference is they don’t want to be there whereas we do.” He believes PMCs can provide valuable experience and leadership to the Mozambicans and teach them how to use equipment, as the Mozambican security forces are lacking in these areas.

Ultimately, Dyck believes military force alone won’t solve the insurgency. “Militarily, we weren’t achieving anything. There needs to be a strategy for the government to reimpose order, build schools and clinics, control the roads,” he said, as a military response will only give government time and space to sort out the root causes of the insurgency.

Experts agree that tackling the root causes behind Mozambique’s insurgency is the only way to provide a lasting solution. Political analyst at the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (Accord), Welile Nhlapo, believes the insurgency in Cabo Delgado was created by local grievances and these need to be addressed. He maintains high unemployment, low literacy, poverty and few services are the main reasons for the insurgency breaking out, with major unemployment combining with a history of economic marginalisation.

“It is important to understand that the people of Mozambique are not radical at all, including the people of Cabo Delgado,” said Borges Nhamirre, Researcher at the Centre for Public Integrity. “The insurgency started because of a government failure to address the grievances of the people. As soon as the government of Mozambique can employ the people of Cabo Delgado, train them, give them jobs…Mozambique will not need military operations then.”

To date, the Mozambican response to the insurgency has been a military one, with soldiers, police, private security contracts and now SADC and Rwandan forces involved. Private military contractors such as Wagner Group and Dyck Advisory Group met with mixed results but Rwandan and SADC forces are seeing better results, and have recaptured several towns, including Mocimboa de Praia.

However, there is little end in sight to the insurgency, and this month the SADC agreed to further extend the deployment of SAMIM forces.

Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/pmcs-were-vital-to-the-survival-of-cabo-delgado-dag/

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