Rwanda’s Joint Force killed 14 insurgents in Mozambique this week, an army spokesperson said on Thursday.
Rwanda last weekend deployed 1,000 troops, comprising members of its defence forces and police officers, to support Mozambique’s battle against the extremist insurgency which has claimed over 2,000 lives and displaced no fewer than 800,000 people.
The troops recorded victory against the insurgents in fighting between July 24 and 28 in the Mbau and Awase regions of Northern Mozambique.
Army spokesman, Ronald Rwivanga, said a Rwandan soldier sustained a minor injury during the offensive.
“We mounted an ambush between Mbau and Awase where we killed two insurgents. And the rest of the fighting took place in Awase. We have so far killed 14 insurgents in total,” he said.
The conflict in northern Mozambique began in 2017 and has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. It has also brought a $20bln natural gas project led by Total to a halt.
Earlier in the week, reports claimed Rwandan forces killed 30 insurgents after fierce fighting in Cabo Delgado. The insurgents according to reports fled towards the Tanzanian border.
In June, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) agreed to deploy troops in northern Mozambique to help combat the insurgency.
Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi has expressed his appreciation to fellow African countries for sending troops to help fight the insurgents.
The Rwandan troops are the first foreign military force in a direct combat role in the conflict.
On Wednesday, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised the deployment of 1,495 troops to Mozambique to help in the fight against extremists.
A day before South Africa’s announcement, the Angolan National Assembly approved the deployment of 20 military personnel as part of the SADC mission. They will join the mission from August 6, 2021.
On July 12, the European Union established a military training mission for the Mozambican armed forces to help them fight terrorists.
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