Rwanda sends troops to Mozambique

                        China Daily
                        Li Wei
                        2021-07-11 17:46:44

                        Rwanda on Friday deployed 1,000 members of the army and police to Mozambique to help the southeast coastal nation fight terrorism and insecurity in its northern Cabo Delgado province.

                        The deployment came at the request of Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi.

                        "The joint force will closely work with Mozambique Armed Defence Forces and forces from the Southern African Development Community in designated sectors of responsibility," Rwandan authorities said in a statement.

                        "The Rwandan contingent will support efforts to restore Mozambican state authority by conducting combat and security operations, as well as stabilization and security reform."

                        At an extraordinary summit of heads of state held in Mozambican capital Maputo on 24 June, SADC agreed to deploy a regional standby force to support Mozambique's efforts in combating terrorism and violent extremism in Cabo Delgado.

                        The 16-member SADC bloc has yet to deploy its forces, however. A virtual meeting of SADC's ministers of foreign affairs held on June 28 set and approved a multinational military force fund of $12 million to be contributed to by each member state. The money was expected to be ready by July 9.

                        Rwanda is not a member of the SADC.

                        Militant attacks by suspected Islamist insurgents in Cabo Degaldo, a province on the border with Tanzania famed for natural gas and rubies, have escalated since the first attacks were reported in 2017.

                        The extremists have mounted indiscriminate attacks on civilians, maiming and killing as well as destroying key national infrastructure. Up to now, Mozambique has been using its own scant resources and private security companies to repel the insurgency.

                        According to the United Nations agencies, nearly 3,000 people have been killed and over 700,000 people have been displaced by the conflict since 2017.

                        One of the bloodiest attacks in the province took place on the coastal town of Palma in March, when dozens of people were killed and nearly 30,000 people were displaced as they fled from the violence.


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