President Nyusi lauds Rwanda for solidarity in fight against terrorism in Mozambique

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 18 May 2024 at 05:55

Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi has commended the government of Rwanda and its security forces for crucial support in combating terrorism in the northern part of the country.

Rwandan forces are helping Mozambique’s army fight militants who launched an armed uprising in 2017. The insurgency began with the group expressing discontent over the lack of economic benefits from natural gas in the region, allegations of government corruption and marginalization of local communities.

Speaking during a presidential panel comprising Presidents Paul Kagame and William Ruto of Kenya at the Africa CEO Forum in Kigali on Friday, Nyusi affirmed that Rwanda’s solidarity had helped Mozambique neutralise terror threats in the country.

"There have been quite a number of efforts, together with my brother, His Excellency Paul Kagame. We discussed issues related to security. We have put so many aspects in the northern part of the country where we are looking at exploring mineral resources such as hydrocarbons. It’s true we have gone through terrorism occurrences in 2021. We encountered so many challenges, and we put in place micro-projects in those areas which were supposed to start.

"In terms of national security, thanks to the support of my brother from Rwanda we have been able to contain the threat situation. I thank the people of Rwanda for showing solidarity," President Nyusi stated.

Terming the current situation as stable, the President dismissed claims that the terror threats pose risk to private sector investments in the country.

"The current situation is stable. It’s just a minor part of the North which is under threat. But investments have never been stopped. It means that the level of risk in Mozambique is nonexistent," he explained.

"In terms of investments in Mozambique in sectors such as power, infrastructure, energy, we are building ports. We have three ports so far that can have major shipping lines to do the work. There are so many people who have visited Mozambique they can witness."

President Nyusi also noted that dialogue with the ’enemies’ had helped de-escalate the security situation in Mozambique.

"Thanks to dialogue, I personally had the opportunity to go to the forest to dialogue with the enemies because I knew what was happening and what they wanted. So we were able to discuss and agree on some points. So the situation is quite better now," he added.

Rwanda deployed its security forces to Mozambique in 2021 after the insurgency escalated with the militia employing violent tactics, including attacks on civilians and security forces and destruction of property. Mozambique has also received military support from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 2021. However, SADC forces started withdrawing last month as its mandate ends in July.

Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) announced this week that new troops of the are preparing to deploy to Cabo Delgado in the gas-rich Northern Province.

The soldiers on Tuesday received a briefing on the new mission during a meeting with senior officials, including the Rwanda Defence Forces Army Chief of Staff, Maj Gen Vincent Nyakarundi and Commissioner Vincent B. Sano, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations.

The RDF Army Chief of Staff conveyed a message from President Paul Kagame, who also doubles up as the Commander-in-Chief of RDF, reminding the troops to maintain discipline and commitment to the crucial mission.

Nyakarundi emphasized that the forces currently deployed in the region were performing admirably and urged the troops to uphold the standards.

“This deployment underscores the strong bilateral relations between the Republic of Rwanda and Mozambique,” RDF said in a statement.

Early this month, RDF announced that joint Rwanda and Mozambique forces had made gains in neutralizing the militia insurgency in the country.

RDF revealed on May 5, 2024, that the joint security team had managed to smoke out and kill a majority of the Al-Shabaab terrorists hiding in Odinepa, Nasua, Mitaka, and Manika forests during a one-week operation that started on April 26.

Only a few insurgents are reported to have escaped the military onslaught during the one-week operation.

President Filipe Nyusi affirmed that Rwanda's solidarity had helped Mozambique neutralise terror threats in the country.