For years, Mozambican President Felipe Nyusi maintained he would not allow foreign troops on Mozambican soil after the country fought an independence war and then a civil war to win and keep its independence. However, things changed in April when rebels stormed the port of Palma, killing 55 people and sending thousands fleeing for safety.
The international force sent to help the Mozambican government crush an Islamist rebellion in its northern Cabo Delgado province scored a major early victory in their campaign over the weekend when they seized the port of Mocímboa da Praia, major stronghold for the Islamist militant group Ansar as-Sunna, and a city of international concern due to its proximity to some of Africa’s largest gas fields.
The Rwandan Defense Force announced on Sunday its soldiers sent to fight in Mozambique had helped recapture the key port city from Ansar as-Sunna, known localled as Al-Shabab but having no relationship to the Somali group of the same name. Their triumph was made possible by the capture of the nearby town of Awasse days earlier by forces from South Africa and Botswana sent to Cabo Delgado as part of a large Southern African Development Community (SADC) deployment.
“It was a critical port for their survival. Losing it is going to be a significant blow to their ability to maintain the insurgency,” Rwivanga also told Reuters.
“We will continue with security operations to completely pacify those areas and allow…