Rwanda security forces help Mozambique army neutralise Al-Shabaab terrorists

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 5 May 2024 at 05:38

The joint Rwanda and Mozambique security forces continue to make gains in neutralising the Al-Shabaab insurgency in the country.

The Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) revealed on Sunday, 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.

During the operation, only a few insurgents are reported to have escaped the military onslaught.

“From 26 April to 3rd May 2024, a joint operation of Mozambique army and Rwanda security forces was conducted against Al-Shabaab terrorist insurgents in their hideouts in the dense forests of Odinepa, Nasua, Mitaka & Manika, Eráti district, Nampula Province, Mozambique,” RDF stated, adding, “Only a few insurgents managed to escape via the Lúrio river.”

Joint Rwanda and Mozambique forces engage the locals after neutralising Al-Shabaab threat in Eráti district.

The Al-Shabaab insurgency began in October 2017 in Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique.

The group, known locally as Ansar al-Sunna wa Jamma (ASWJ), is distinct from the Somali group of the same name, but both believe in global jihad.

The insurgency began with the group expressing discontent over lack of economic benefits from natural gas in the region, allegations of government corruption and marginalization of local communities.

However, over the years that followed the rebellion escalated with the militia employing violent tactics, including attacks on civilians and security forces and destruction of property.

The Mozambique government struggled to contain the militia forcing it to seek military help from Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Rwanda deployed its forces in 2021. In February 2022, RDF announced that the security forces had captured new terrorist hideouts in Nhica do Ruvuma and Pundanhar general areas west of Palma District.

At the time, the terrorists fled the new positions towards Muidube District inside the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) designated sectors of responsibility.

RDF confirmed that the terrorists were seriously weakened by the joint forces’ actions but cautioned the residents to remain vigilant at all times.

RDF confirmed that only a few militants managed to escape the military onslaught.