He made the revelation today during a press conference hosted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Vincent Biruta to brief the media on various key local, regional and global issues.
As he made a presentation on activities carried out by Rwandan troops in Mozambique, Col Rwivanga explained that they are currently deployed in the northwest of the country in the counties of Palma, Afungi, Mueda and Awasse.
He revealed that Rwandan soldiers conducted combat operations on 24th July 2021 where they killed four rebels in Awasse and seized their guns.
“We conducted several operations between 24th and 28th July in Awasse- Macimboa and Mueda- Awasse located in Cabo Delgado where our soldiers are deployed. On 24th [July]; we killed four rebels in Awasse and seized weapons including RPG, SMG, Machine Gun and pharmaceuticals. We mounted an ambush the same day and killed more two insurgents,” he said.
The two killed rebels were riding a motorbike with number plate from Tanzania.
They were found with a laptop, and documents written in Kiswahili while their guns were also seized.
On 26th July, RDF killed five rebels and seized eight weapons. On 28th July, rebels raided RDF barracks in Awasse but were repelled as Col Rwivanga explained.
“We repelled the attack and killed one of them. As we brought back our injured soldier to Awasse, we encountered an ambush mounted by rebels and killed two of them. This is what we have done so far,” he noted.
Col Rwivanga has revealed that RDF troops have taken control of several regions where it has conducted operations since deployment to Mozambique.
“We repelled and killed enemies whenever we encountered them. Only one soldier was injured and is receiving medical attention. We have taken control of Awasse and seized all places where we conducted operations,” he said.
Col Rwivanga said the mission to Mozambique is not time-specific highlighting that it will depend on how long it will take to normalize the situation.
“We shall return after accomplishing our mission,” he affirmed.
On 9th July 2021, Rwanda started the deployment of 1000 troops of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) and the Rwanda National Police (RNP) to Mozambique to fight terrorism and insecurity.
The situation started worsening in October 2017 when armed extremists linked the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched an insurgency in the Cabo Delgado region of Mozambique.
Since then, Mozambique Defence Armed Forces have been battling the extremists but many civilians were displaced by the fighting.
Following different attacks, the militants seized the port town of Mocimboa da Praia August 2020.
Over fifty people were beheaded by terrorists in the province in April 2020 and a similar number in November 2020.
Among others, the militants seized Palma on 24th March 2021, murdering dozens of civilians displacing more than 35,000 of the town’s 75,000 residents.
So far, intensified fight between rebels and Government soldiers for the past four years has claimed lives of 3000 civilians leaving over 800,000 displaced.
The incessant violence prompted the visit of Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi to Rwanda in April 2021 where he discussed the problem with his counterpart Paul Kagame.
The statement released by the Government of Rwanda ahead of sending troops to Mozambique reads that the deployment is a response to the request of the Government of Mozambique.