Yesterday the Rwanda troops which were deployed in Mozambique last month as peacekeeper against Islamic State militants in the north of Mozambique claimed victory in driving out the militants wreaking havoc in the country’s gas-rich north.
Rwanda forces last week helped the Mozambique army regain control of Awasse — a small but strategic settlement near the key town of Mocimboa da Praia seized by militants in August last year.
“We are progressing well in Cabo Degaldo province,” Rwanda Defense Force spokesman colonel Ronald Rwivanga told AFP via phone text.
“We have registered successes on two fronts and are closing in Mocimboa da Praia,” he added, referring to the port town that has been occupied by the militants since August 12, 2020.
The town, from where the first Islamist attacks were staged in October 2017, has since last year become the de-facto headquarters of the IS-linked extremists.
Mozambican military forces have been struggling to regain control over the province, which is home to one of Africa’s biggest liquefied natural gas projects.
Rwanda deployed 1,000 army commanders on 9th July 2021 following a visit of Filipe Nyusi, the Mozambican leader in April 2021.
Rwanda rolled in, neighboring countries, under the aegis of the 16-member regional bloc Southern African Development Community (SADC) started sending in troops few weeks after the meeting with Nyusi.
Botswana became the first SADC country to send in boots on July 26, deploying 296 soldiers. According to President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who chairs SADC’s defense and security.
However, according to BBC, Rwanda’s troops had taken a new role and instead of acting as peacekeepers, they were fighting against Islamic State militants in the north of Mozambique.