Mozambique – Rwandan President Paul Kagame paid a visit to Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique to underscore the importance of cooperation between the two countries. President Nyusi met with Kagame, who emphasized that the battle in northern Mozambique against armed Islamist organizations is in a “consolidation phase,” with certain achievements by joint Mozambican and Rwandan forces.
“I don’t see any insurmountable obstacles here, whether it’s fighting insurgents, dealing with terrorists, or dealing with the development issues that have been discussed.” “I don’t think there’s any problem that can’t be solved,” Kagame remarked. In July, Rwanda became the first African country to send troops to the region, a thousand soldiers and police officers, to assist the Mozambican army in the northeast, which has been under siege by armed groups since late 2017.
South Africa, which dispatched 1,500 troops, was among the other countries in the area to follow suit. Early in August, the Rwandan military announced that its forces and Mozambican troops had retaken Mocmboa da Praia, a strategic port city in northern Mozambique, from Islamist insurgents. Mocmboa da Praia, in the province of Cabo Delgado, was the last stronghold of the insurgents and home to one of Africa’s largest gas resources.
The insurgents have not yet responded, but the news is being hailed as a significant victory for Mozambique in its struggle against insurgents in the country’s north. Rwanda sent 1,000 soldiers to Mozambique last month to confront militants who began an insurrection in 2017. During the violence, over 3,000 people have been killed and 820,000 have been displaced.
The Mozambican armed forces, which have been struggling to reclaim control of the province, were first hesitant to seek outside military assistance, but have since accepted assistance from their neighbors. SADC, the southern African regional organization, is sending in hundreds of troops, while Portugal, a former colonial power, is advising soldiers on the ground.