RDF Army Chief of Staff sees off relief force departing to Cabo Delgado

On 31 July 2023 at 11:52

On behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the RDF Army Chief of Staff (ACOS), Maj Gen Vincent Nyakarundi along with Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations, CP Vincent Sano have seen off Rwanda Security Forces heading to relieve their colleagues in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.

The contingent led by Maj Gen Alexis Kagame that departed today is part of larger relief force comprising of over 2000 troops based in Cabo Delgado province.

Prior to their departure, Maj Gen Nyakarundi emphasized the importance of upholding the highest level of commitment, discipline, dedication, and humility while serving the population of Cabo Delgado.

This deployment is a result of the strong bilateral relations between the Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of 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 terrorist groups, honoring the request of Mozambique. The troops had increased to nearly 2500 by the end of the year 2022.

The situation in the country had worsened since October 2017 when armed extremists launched an insurgency in the Cabo Delgado Province of Mozambique.

Mozambique Defence Armed Forces battled the extremists but many civilians were killed and displaced by the fighting.

Before Rwandan troops’ intervention, terrorists had killed 3000 civilians while more than 800,000 were displaced. The insecurity had also put to halt all development projects in the area controlled by insurgents.

The joint operations between Rwandan and Mozambican troops yielded big, where different regions were seized from rebels.

Responding to a question on Rwanda’s journey in the fight against terrorists in Mozambique, at a joint press conference with his counterpart of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema in Kigali recently, President Kagame said that there has been commendable progress.

“I should say, largely, the problem has been addressed in terms of large numbers of people that had been displaced being able to go back to their villages, homes and starting their activities as they should. There has been a presence of troops from SADC deployed in different parts of that area and together, security and stability has returned because of that,” he stated.

Rwandan troops are deployed in Palma and Mocimboa da Praia and sometimes cooperate with SADC forces upon available intelligence to dislodge terrorists.

Since deployment of Rwandan troops in Cabo Delgado, security has been restored where the majority of displaced residents returned home.

Besides, businesses resumed and French company, TotalEnergies with US$20 billion investment that might be increased to US$50 billion under the Liquefied Natural Gas project, is expected to resume operations as well.

Speaking to the media recently, Kagame highlighted that economic activities are beginning to pick up owing to current efforts to stabilize the area.

“I have heard even those who were making investments there like Total [Energies] and others, are already thinking of resuming their activities. Of course, there may be one thing here and another there that needs to be put out of their way before they fully resume, but I think that is being enabled by such collaborative efforts, around the provision of security and working together with the host country. And each one playing their part, together, we are seeing a lot of progress,” he noted.

“I should say, 80% of the problem has been addressed. The 20% might be small or big depending on a number of circumstances but that needs to be cleared as well,” added Kagame.