With presence of dense forests, Mbau is located in 45 kilometers away from Mocimboa da Praia.
It was reportedly used by rebels for training of recruits. Following days of intense fighting, the joint forces seized Mbau on Friday 20th August 2021.
As they attacked Mbau, Rwandan and Mozambican troops maneuvered through Mocimboa da Praia and Mueda.
Before entering Mbau, RDF and Mozambican troops exchanged fire with approximately 100 rebels. The fight left several rebels killed while others escaped.
Eleven of killed rebels were found on the battle ground.
The joint troops also seized weapons including Submachine Guns (SMGs) among others.
The Spokesperson of Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), Col Ronald Rwivanga has told IGIHE that operations to defeat insurgencies are ongoing despite the victory in Mbua.
“We have quelled rebels and seized the region but operations are ongoing,” he said.
IGIHE has learnt that Rwandan troops started operations on Tuesday and followed tracks left by rebels as they fled with their vehicles from Mocimboa da Praia also seized recently.
The remaining regions under control of rebels include Siri I and Siri II.
During the ongoing fight, liberated regions are left under protection of Police forces as soldiers advance to chase out rebels.
Rwanda started the deployment of 1000 troops of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) and the Rwanda National Police (RNP) to Mozambique, recently on 9th July 2021, to fight rebel groups linked ISIL.
The group sometimes calls themselves al-Shabaab, although they do not have known links with the Somali al-Shabaab.
The situation started worsening in October 2017 when armed extremists linked ISIL launched an insurgency in the Cabo Delgado region of Mozambique.
Since then, Mozambique Defence Armed Forces have been battling the extremists while many civilians were displaced by the fighting.
The joint operations between Rwandan and Mozambican troops have started yielding where different regions including Palma, Awasse, Mocímboa Da Praia, Quionga, Tete, Zambia, Maputo, Nhica Do Rovuma, Quelimane, Chinda and Mumu have been seized from rebels.