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Rwanda to deploy troops to Mozambique

Rwanda’s President Gen Paul Kagame (PHOTO /Courtesy)

Rwanda is finalising plans and processes of deploying its troops onto the Mozambiqan territory to fight the Islamist insurgents, local media reported Monday quoting a military source in Kigali.

Rwanda Defence Force spokesman Ronald Rwivanga was quoted as saying that there are plans to deploy adding that “plans are not finalized yet”.

However, there is no offical communique from the Mozambique government.

Veronica Macamo, Mozambique’s foreign minister, and armed forces spokesman Omar Saranga has not yet responded to press requests for comment on this forthcoming deployment of troops from a non member of Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc.

Mozambique has yet to inform SADC of any planned deployment from Rwanda, Stergomena Tax, the bloc’s executive secretary, said recently.

An Islamic State-linked insurgency prompted a consortium led by TotalEnergies SE to stall a U$25 billion liquefied natural gas project in the region.

Fighting flared around the town of Palma near the project this week.

The insurgency in Mozambique has left 2 800 people dead, according to conflict data tracker ACLED, and displaced 800 000.

It also represents a regional threat that could spill across borders and create instability in a region.

Rwanda’s intervention is largely seen as supported by Tanzania and France.

Bordering Mozambique, Tanzania is directly affected by violence in the north, but the country seems to have little appetite to intervene directly in the violence.

President Filipe Nyusi may yet seek a bilateral participation within southern Africa, particularly Zimbabwe, which is economically reliant on Mozambique’s ports.

In the lens of ISS, “a regional military intervention might improve security in Cabo Delgado, but would interfere with Mozambique’s direct access to its traditional donors if they chose to channel aid through SADC.”

Rocked by the largest corruption scandals in its post-independence history, U$2.2 billion in hidden debt discovered in 2016, Mozambique lost much goodwill and funding from the international community.

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