Dyck's Men deployed on an anti-poaching operation.

by Hannes Wessels


With the world convulsed by the hysteria generated by the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement I came away from my recent meeting with Colonel Lionel Dyck mulling the prevailing madness. Something wildly ironic about a white, former Rhodesian, then Zimbabwean Army officer, talking in sombre but selfless terms about the risks that lie ahead of him in trying to quell a growing and increasingly brutal insurrection that is wreaking havoc through Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique.

Here Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah, which is an ISIS (Islamic State) offshoot, seeking to establish a caliphate in the province, is at the heart of the mayhem where blacks are killing blacks in grisly fashion with increasing abandon and it looks like he’s the man with the finger of fate pointed firmly at him if this conflagration is going to be confronted, contained and defeated.

“The stakes are extremely high,” says Dyck, “but the Mozambique Defence Forces are unprepared and under-resourced and we have to move fast. Some of the atrocities committed are unlike anything I have seen before and I’ve seen a lot of wars, in a lot of different places. The massacre that followed the attack on Quissanga Police Post involved the mutilation of bodies, severing of limbs and we believe the attackers ate some of the body-parts. Despite this barbarism, this enemy is organised, motivated and well equipped. If we don’t get on top of this, it’s going to spread south fast and that will be a catastrophe for the entire region.”

Massacre at Quissanga

After independence in 1980 Dyck stayed on in the new Zimbabwe Army and took command of the Zimbabwe Parachute Battalion which was a mix of former RAR (Rhodesian African Rifles), Selous Scouts and former adversaries from the ZANLA and ZIPRA guerrilla armies. No easy task to mould different tribes and allegiances into an effective fighting unit in the wake of a bitter war but he pulled it off and moulded the new country’s most potent fighting force. Controversially, he led these men in a hard fought campaign against Renamo rebels in central Mozambique which earned him the respect and trust of the Frelimo administration and it is for this reason, the Nyusi administration has turned to him for help in the current time of need.

Seven years ago, with poaching rampant in parts of southern Mozambique, his Dyck Advisory Group (DAG) was hired by the authorities to tackle the problem. Using a mix of experienced game-scouts and former Special Forces personnel he accepted. Working in many cases with tracker dogs and with air support, he and his men proved highly successful and it was on the back of this that he was approached by the Mozambique Police Chief in September last year and asked to assist in dealing with the burgeoning insurrection unfolding in Cabo Delgado.

“We have discovered it’s a nasty mix of old, well organised, criminal networks involved in ivory, rubies and emeralds but the big, billion-dollar business is heroin being moved through the area and distributed north and south. This has now taken on an Islamic face and it’s a highly effective combination with strong external support.”

Dyck is operating on a shoe-string. With one helicopter having been shot down and destroyed, he has two Gazelle gun-ships flying, two ‘Bathawk’ microlights with front-guns, an old Allouette armed with 20 mm canon and two fixed wing aircraft. With a total compliment of less than 30 men, he has almost no ground-forces and his intelligence gathering capability is very limited.

“At the moment our strike capability is almost entirely airborne,” he says. “We have attacked enemy camps from the air and we are using aircraft to interdict their supplies which are being moved on land and sea. I believe we have been successful in slowing their advance but this war is far from won. We have to start a selection and training programme immediately so we can get good men into the field and take the fight back to the enemy from the air and on the ground. We also intend to move our base of operations closer to Mocimboa da Praia which was attacked recently by the rebels.”

Muddying the waters is dissension within the SADC region with different members holding different opinions and having different agendas. Tanzania, with a large Muslim population, it appears, is at best neutral but the central government appears to be doing nothing to stop the flow of insurgents into Mozambique from bases in the south of the country. Hoped for support from Zimbabwe has not been forthcoming and South Africa appears to prefer to remain above the fray. Zimbabwe, given it’s dire economic situation may not have the resources to intervene and South Africa appears to have taken note of a warning from Al Sunnah, that they intervene at the risk of a backlash that may well come from dormant, but potentially dangerous Islamic groups inside the country.

Further afield the Americans appear to be watching from the side-lines. Undoubtedly they have the capacity to intervene but it appears the Nyusi administration is wary of soliciting their help. This may be because they are unsure of what the quid pro quo will be but it may also have something to do with the conflict of interest US troops in Africa face. Most of the Islamic insurrections in west and central Africa appear to be Saudi financed and supported. Saudi Arabia remains an American and Israeli ally in containing Iran and in dealing with other Middle-East hot-spots and this seems to have compromised their goals in containing the Islamic contagion.

Dyck has been approached by influential figures in the British ‘establishment’ offering assistance but he is wary. “I just don’t trust them; they never tell you the whole story and there is always another agenda in play with them. I feel we must go it alone at this stage with the little we have and turn this around. It’s going to be hard but we have to win this.”

At this point it looks like a semi-retired 76 year old veteran of many wars, in the twilight of his years, stands pretty much alone in the ongoing struggle to stem the spread of Islamic fundamentalism and to stop the slaughter of blacks by blacks on the killing fields of Africa. And because the ‘good guy’ has a white face and there are no white American cops involved the media appears to have little interest.


40 thoughts on “Colonel Dyck And The Fight For Northern Mozambique”
  1. It is beyond me that the big Investors in the Gas business are not prepared to finance all Lionels’s operational needs! These criminals and radical ISIS offshoots threaten the whole region! There should be a co-ordinated effort to wipe them out with immediate effect!

  2. Am I missing something here, Hannes?
    Samora Machelle’s marxist government and their Frelimo Army were Rhodesia’s bitter enemies who supported and allowed our own terrorists training centres and military protection against us, our farmers, our Black tribal people, and our Rhodesian soldiers (Black and White).

    What I don’t understand is – How and when did we get to ‘saving Mozambique’ (now the Good guys) from the Islamist terrorists?
    Is there a change in history that occurred in Mozambique into Christian democratic nation that I missed? Do reveal if so.
    Otherwise I still see Mozambique as our enemy and any attack by ex-Rhodesians who became Zimbabwean military officers AGAINST Renamo (who we created to fight marxist Frelimo, for our mutual gain) was a gross betrayal and lacking in the true Rhodesian Spirit.

    What sort of people are being ‘saved’? A few years ago a naive young australian woman holidaying in Mozambique alone who ‘loved the culture of the Mozambique people’ was then raped and murdered by these ‘lovely people’.
    Our young White people around the world have been programmed to believe lies which resulted in this young woman and all others gaining a false sense of security, such as “we’re all the same”, “Black people are just innocent victims of Colonial White oppression” and on and on.

    Our young people have been subject to the evil international cultural marxism psychological operations flowing out of the world’s greatest brainwashing centre, the Tavistock Institute. Stark IQ differences alone prove our reactive patterns and tendencies, conscience, and ability to process information are in deep contrast.

    Cannibalism in Africa has never ended but let’s not notice….that difference. Its even in this photo in which Black Muslims massacred Black policemen.

    1. I agree with a lot of what you say and Mozambique has suffered terrible misrule under Frelimo and that is one of the reasons this insurrection is unfolding but the people leading it don’t look like they have anything better to offer. I actually think many African countries are fracturing because central governments are so busy looting the state coffers they barely bother to govern and this neglect plants the seeds of dissent which leads to secessionist movements.

      1. ‘this neglect plants the seed of dissent which leads to secessionist movements’

        Except in Zimbabwe? Still same old, same old.

  3. Hannes, a well written piece. I like your style and ability to get to the bones of matters. I like to think I am well read and conversant in world politics but many of your articles are first hand…almost scoops. Realistically an indication of far in the backwaters we are in SSA and how conveniently we are forgotten, much to the liking of our despotic leaders. That’s why your insightful finger pointing is so important, even if it is for the converted.

    1. Thanks Jack I suppose it is pretty easy to produce information not well known simply because the mainstream media follows a very strict agenda regarding what is to be reported and and so much is hidden from view.

  4. Only Lionel can quell this barbaric and savage incursion. He’s a soldier through and through and has operated in Mozambique in the past.
    Happy hunting my old buddy!

  5. The media makes me sick!! I am so sick and tired of the fact that I am supposed to say I am sorry that I am white – well guess what? That will never happen

  6. Hannes, if i knew that I would donate to them my microlight before it was sold for nothing. Even go and fly it for them.

  7. Lionel certainly has the military experience and trust of the Mozambique government to take on this unenviable task. Scary to have Islamic extremists making headway in Tanzania and northern Mozambique. Their previous activities in East Africa was as slave traders in the 1880’s, brought to an end through David Livingstone and the British and German colonial governments.

    1. Now that is interesting.
      From what I saw of the black lives matter protests here in the UK, all colonialists were evil supremacists.
      In fact statues of colonialists should be removed from public display and statues of black protesters put up in their place.
      Of course I could be wrong but that was the impression I got.

  8. There is no conflict of interest between America, Israel and the Saudis. They are very much together on it.

    These killers are just bogeyman to justify foreign troops landing into Africa. A case of creating problems and then coming in like a saviour to solve the same problems.

    1. I like your cynicism, Mushmush1 and I tend to agree with you. Whatever is out front, there is another agenda by the international moneypower going on…..yes! Just as the Rhodesian Bush War had nothing to do with ‘racism’ and everything to do with the theft of our natural resources by the Rothschild/Royalty led cabal who intend for the whole world a communistic world dictatorship. Its being brought in worldwide right now by the covid 19 back door.

  9. Between the brutal and relentless radical Muslim incursion into select areas of Southern Africa, the more subtle purchase of huge chunks of Southern Africa, and the stupidity and greed of most of the socialist governments in the region, Southern Africa is facing even greater disaster than before.

    1. I omitted to name the subtle acquisition protagonists. The Communist Chines of course.

  10. Africa, you are in our blood and our roots are deep in your rolling plains and awesome mountains, but we had to leave to survive your path of destruction. Hopefully one day our grandchildren can see the beautiful continent and countries within as successful prosperous nations and all this greed, corruption and weakness will be in the history books, were it belongs!! Then maybe the beautiful people within its shores, of all cultures, tribes and backgrounds, can show their true colours!
    Luckily there are people like Lionel who are trying to do what they can against such huge odds!! Hopefully some young, strong and passionate people will emerge who will be prepared to face the corruption face on Lead the nations back to prosperity.

    1. And, while all this violence and unrest happens, China sits in the shadows waiting till the time is right to pounce. By the time African Unity is all but a memory Africa will owe the PRC so much China will walk in uninvited and take control of the resources they so desperately need for their billions of mouths.

  11. It is a worrying situation and I take my hat off to Hannes but it is about time Africa started looking after itself and sort out it’s own problems. Billions has e been poured into the continent and all that has done is make many dictators very wealthy. They do not care about their people so why should anyone else. If the people of Africa took back control of their governments then maybe they can take on the affiliated ISIS groups and have a future.

    1. Unfortunately, Africa is the main source ( 90%) of the world supply of cobalt and tantalite the two essentials of computer tech and high tech batteries. That’s why the radicals have arrived to fight another cold war.

  12. Hannes, good article and an informative look at the ASwJ insurgency from the perspective of COL (R) Dyck. Your insight into the confluence of criminal networks, heroin trafficking and Tanzanian indifference has added a different and more complex dimension to this story. Keep up the good reporting.

    Speaking as only one American, this is not our Army’s fight. Despite growing bilateral cooperation between the US and many countries on the continent (Mozambique included), the Cabo Delgado insurgency is not a US national priority sufficient to trigger a military commitment (with all THAT baggage). However, there are a broad spectrum of US contractors offering all the services the Nyusi Administration could require to successfully prosecute a counter-insurgent campaign through various US Department of State programs (APREP/ACOTA/GPOI/GDRP). Until, however, the SADC not only “chooses to not help” but gives a nod to the US, we wont be seeing those training, logistic, intelligence, aviation, operational and civil-military capabilities either in support of or partnership with DAG or the GoM.

    Sad that the indecision or indifference of politicians will doom many Cabo Delgodans to a nasty end before ASwJ is crushed.


    1. Thanks Brian for this very interesting contribution to a difficult debate. Being an American fan in the broad sense I do believe your country has been over committed in conflicts that really have little impact on the US and I’m sorry President Trump has not been able to disengage to the extent he appears to have wanted to. Having said that, American companies are exposed in this area and I can’t help but think some well planned sort of intervention could pay huge dividends. As in all counter-insurgency wars there is a serious problem with a disaffected local populace and that problem needs to be urgently addressed if a military solution is to be found.

    2. Let the world have mercy on the innocent Mozambican people, such brutality has never been seen or recorded in human history. These insurgents act like the devil incarnate, they kill, destroy, burn, cut into pieces humans and eat the flesh raw. It is high time that attention is given to this conflict before humanitarian total catastrophe of biblical proportion erupts.

  13. So different to the Africa when I was born there. So sad, but it is the Africa the majority population wanted and killed for. EB.

  14. Very interesting article Hannes, but I ask what is new ? Can the problems be solved ? Who by? Is there a real will ? I doubt it. Apart from a few people like Lionel the world is sick and tired of trying to help those who won’t be helped.

    Look at the history of this benighted continent over the last 50 years. “It’s what the people want”.

    Pat Walsh

    1. I’m afraid I have t agree. But I get so pissed off with the selective reporting of the mass-media.

  15. How can we assist with resources & manpower?
    We have some initiatives for our teams of bounty hunters..

    1. Perhaps you can consider assisting us in securing farms in South Africa? Too hot to handle for the existing farm patrols and too politically sensitive to self action the follow-ups. Reply if you will?

  16. A few less years on me and U would have volunteered
    Maybe the thing to do is to raise funds to help

  17. Hannes,

    Africans voted in ‘free and fair democratic’ elections for the whole package. There is no alternative to what they have. It’s a numbers game and a brutal game at that. Most leaders in sub-Saharan Africa are always running scared. They are not running from the West. No way. They are running from their own people. There is enough evidence to guess what happened during the Gukurahundi campaign in Matabeleland and the Midlands of Zimbabwe, where thousands of innocent civilians were killed and brutal atrocities occurred. This unpleasant change of events in Mozambique is not just some abject weekend circus performance. This is a substantial geopolitical move of one corruptive mafia into another’s neighbourhood.

    The SADC regional allies may be all dominant at the moment, but when any regime has to silence the opposition, rig elections and jail the opposition, it isn’t a sign of strength, it’s weakness. The criminal networks that Dyck talks about are bigger than what you want to imagine. These weak governments wouldn’t know where to begin in trying to counter this new fifth column. Let them sort it out for themselves. The Americans wouldn’t touch it. At least, not for now.

  18. Remember Joseph Kony from the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda?????? There was a big internet campaign about him about 10 years ago He disappeared into the jungles of CAR and is poaching ivory last time I looked.
    The Ugandans invented “ghost soldiers” on their payroll and screwed millions of dollars out of the Americans. Welcome to Africa.

  19. Top article – amazing how active he is at his age and still literally fighting the good fight

  20. This is of great concern. The Islamist/Jihadists take every available opportunity to bleed into vacuums left by poor governance. It is a scourge that takes no heed of borders and festers on misery. I would not be surprised to soon learn they have crossed over those imaginary border lines into neighbouring countries. Worrisome!

    1. I’m afraid I agree with you. Much of the population is, I believe, disaffected due to neglect from the central government and thus open to subversion. I think that deficit needs to be addressed urgently.

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