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Rwanda’s 1,000-strong force in Mozambique Claim Progress Against Extremists

Rwandan troops in Mozambique, who were sent less than a month ago to assist in the fight against Islamist extremists, said Thursday that they had succeeded in driving out the extremists who were causing havoc in the country’s gas-rich north.

Officials say, Rwandan troops, working with Mozambique’s army, have retaken control of a vital village near the key town of Mocimboa da Praia from Islamist extremists. The administration said it would deploy additional soldiers to assist in the battle against Islamist extremists who took control of the region last year.

“We are progressing well in Cabo Delgado province,” Colonel Ronald Rwivanga, spokesperson for the Rwanda Defense Force, told AFP by phone text.

“We have registered successes on two fronts and are closing in Mocimboa da Praia,” He went on to mention the port town that has been seized by terrorists since August 12, 2020.

Military troops in Mozambique have been battling to retake control of the town of Awasse. From where the first Islamist attacks were launched in October 2017, the town has been the de facto headquarters of the IS-linked militants since last year. According to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, the rebels have left Awasse to other small villages around Mocimboa da Praia, but “we are closing in on them.”

“Solution to Africa’s problems cannot be imported and Working together is key.” The president also emphasized the need to go beyond a military approach to resolving instability in Africa.

Rwanda’s 1,000-strong force deployed on July 9, after Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi’s April visit to Kigali. Within weeks after Rwanda’s arrival, neighboring nations began deploying soldiers under the auspices of the 16-member regional grouping Southern African Development Community (SADC). On July 26, Botswana became the first SADC nation to send in troops, sending 296 soldiers.

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