(Bloomberg) --

South Africa is in talks with Mozambique about the continent’s most industrialized nation providing assistance to fight against an Islamic State-linked insurgency in its neighboring country, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor said.

“Our governments are in discussions as to how we might lend support from our own resources as South Africa,” she said in comments broadcast over state-owned SABC television late Friday. “At this point, we understand that Mozambique is making use of private security providers in order to fight this insurgent group.”

Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi this week asked for regional help in fighting the insurgency, which began in 2017, and has rapidly escalated in recent weeks. The violence in the northern Cabo Delgado province that borders Tanzania has left more than 1,000 people dead and tens of thousands have fled their homes. It’s also menaced natural gas projects worth as much as $60 billion that companies including Total SA and Exxon Mobil plan in the area.

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