Rwandan troops urged to maintain discipline, commitment ahead of Mozambique mission

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 15 May 2024 at 11:04

New troops of the Rwandan Security Forces are preparing to deploy to Cabo Delgado in Mozambique amid rising attacks by Islamist insurgents in the gas-rich Northern Province.

The soldiers received a briefing on the new mission during a meeting with senior officials, including the Rwanda Defence Forces Army Chief of Staff, Maj Gen Vincent Nyakarundi and Commissioner Vincent B. Sano, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations.

The RDF Army Chief of Staff conveyed a message from President Paul Kagame, who also doubles up as the Commander-in-Chief of RDF, reminding the troops to maintain discipline and commitment to the crucial mission.

Nyakarundi emphasized that the forces currently deployed in the region were performing admirably and urged the troops to uphold the standards.

“This deployment underscores the strong bilateral relations between the Republic of Rwanda and Mozambique,” RDF said in a statement.

The troops have been urged to maintain utmost discipline and commitment to the mission.

The Rwandan forces are helping Mozambique’s army fight militants who launched an armed uprising in 2017.

The insurgency began with the group expressing discontent over the 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, forcing the government to seek military support from Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 2021. SADC forces started withdrawing last month as its mandate ends in July.

New attacks were reported in the northern town of Macomia on Friday morning. Confirming the attack, Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi said the country is battling ISIL-linked groups.

“Macomia is under attack since this morning. Fire exchange still continues,” Nyusi said, adding that the armed group fighters initially withdrew after about 45 minutes of fighting, but then regrouped and came back.

Early this month, RDF announced that joint Rwanda and Mozambique forces had made gains in neutralizing the militia insurgency in the country.

RDF revealed on 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.

Only a few insurgents are reported to have escaped the military onslaught during the one-week operation.