The town has been under the control of rebels for the past five years.
Rwanda recently on 9th July 2021 started the deployment of 1000 troops of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) and the Rwanda National Police (RNP) to Mozambique to fight rebel groups linked 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.
Following different attacks, the militants seized the port town of Mocimboa da Praia August 2020.
One day before seizing Mocimboa da Praia, RDF killed four insurgents and seized weapons including four RPGs, 3 SMGs and various documents.
Rwandan troops also vanquished rebels from the region known as ‘1st May’ after maneuvering through Njama.
IGIHE journalist reporting from Mozambique has said that the port town has been seized on Sunday 8th August 201 around 8a.m.
Major infrastructures where security was tightened after capturing Mocimboa da Praia include an airstrip and a major port in the area.
IGIHE has seen Mozambican soldiers celebrating victory after capturing the port town.
The Commander of Rwandan soldiers deployed to Mozambique, Brig Gen Pascal Muhizi has told IGIHE that the main objective was to root out enemy pockets from the town and conduct offensive attacks.
“This place is Mocímboa District which has been the stronghold for insurgents. Rebels used to withdraw to this area after plotting attacks rebels. They have been living here for more than five years,” he said.
After capturing the town, key infrastructures have been handed over to Mozambican forces.
Commander Oscar A. Lucas, a senior military officer in Mozambique represented his country at the handover of the port considered the major passageway for goods.
“The port holds great significance to Mozambique. It is also the gateway for rebels destabilizing our citizens [...] Seizing this port is very meaningful to people of Mozambique and the Government,” said Commander Lucas.
He also commended RDF for contribution that led the victory.
“The contribution of Rwandan soldiers is of critical importance. We take this opportunity to voice appreciation to Rwandans because we would not be here hadn’t it been their support,” stated Commander Lucas.