Rwandan, Mozambican forces reopen road link between Mocimboa and Awassi

By All Africa
On 17 August 2021 at 01:57

Following the capture of the town of Mocimboa da Praia, in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, from ISIS terrorists last week, the joint Mozambican and Rwandan forces have reopened the road link between Mocimboa and Awassi, to the west, near the border with Mueda district.

The road had been closed since the ISIS seizure of Mocimboa da Praia a year ago.

Reopening the road was possible, because the joint command of the Mozambican and Rwandan forces put an alternative bridge across the Quinhevo river on national road R782.

According to a report in Monday’s issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias", the bridge, built of metal and timber, can bear vehicles with a weight of up to 60 tonnes. It will facilitate the movement of motorised infantry in operations to clean out terrorists from other parts of Mocimboa da Praia district.

A team from the National Roads Administration (ANE) visited Mocimboa da Praia on Sunday to assess the requirements for a more thorough intervention to improve the road.

Previously the main link to Mocimboa da Praia and its port was along road N380, which is currently impassable due to terrorist destruction of another bridge.

Further north, in Palma district, people displaced from their homes in Palma town by the ISIS raid of 24 March, are beginning to return, according to a report in the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique".

The security provided by the joint Mozambican-Rwandan forces has made it feasible for some residents to return to their homes in the town. Since late March many of them had been living in the resettlement town of Quitunda, which was initially set up for workers of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project run by a consortium headed by the French oil and gas company, TotalEnergies.

After the terrorist attack, Total withdrew all its workers, and people displaced from Palma town fled to the relative safety of Quitunda.

One of those who returned to Palma town, Aruna Nchute, told "Carta de Mocambique" she had seen no signs of any new fighting in the town. Others are more cautious and prefer to stay in Quitunda, or make their way to the provincial capital, Pemba.

When the Secretary of State for Cabo Delgado, Antonio Supeia, visited Palma last week, he guaranteed that the government is committed to restoring normal life to the town, starting with the re-establishment of public services.

There are also reports of displaced people begin to drift back to the towns of Macomia and Quissanga.

Rwandan and Mozambican forces have reopened the road link between Mocimboa and Awassi. Photo Noticias