Kagame voiced the appreciation on Friday 24th September 2021 as he began two-day working visit to Mozambique.
Rwanda started the deployment of 1000 troops of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) and the Rwanda National Police (RNP) to Mozambique on 9th July 2021, to fight rebel groups linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (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, , Maputo, Nhica Do Rovuma, Quelimane, Chinda and Mumu have been seized from rebels.
Upon arrival in Mozambique today, President Kagame met with Rwandan joint forces working with Mozambican Defence Armed Forces to help restore peace and stability in Cabo Delgado Province.
Kagame was accompanied by his counterpart of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi as he visited the troops at the Naval Base located in Pemba.
He commended them for the hard work done to retake Cabo Delgado which was previously under the control of insurgents.
“I want to start by thanking my brother and friend, President Nyusi and his delegation for inviting us to this city and to thank you Rwandan and Mozambican soldiers and Police for all the hard work you have done to liberate Cabo Delgado. The rebels better know that we won’t sit back and let them return and threaten the lives of the people in Cabo Delgado,” said Kagame.
He thanked Nyusi for inviting him and ‘making the time to speak to our soldiers so that they can leave this place safer than they found it’.
President Nyusi thanked his counterpart of Rwanda for the visit and accepting to send soldiers ‘who came to work with other soldiers to protect our country’.
“Thank you for the cooperation between our soldiers. The Rwandan soldiers have shown immense respect to our citizens. They are loved and respected. Our soldiers are forever indebted to you and we look forward to continuing rebuilding the lives of our citizens for the better,” he noted.
Currently, rebels have lost almost all strongholds. The remaining work is predominantly about launching offensives to quell enemy pockets from their hideouts and help displaced citizens to return to their homes.
As at 5th September 2021, Rwandan and Mozambican troops who were joined by the military mission of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) had captured almost all areas of Cabo Delgado Province.
All photos: IGIHE & Village Urugwiro