Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s president, says his country fully funds the military operation in Mozambique and has denied being financed by France or TotalEnergies.
Last month, Rwandan soldiers backed Mozambican troops in their fight against Islamist militants in Cabo Delgado.
“Thus far, we have been using our own means. We have decent resources and we are happy to share. There is no one financing us,” President Kagame said in an interview with the Rwandan Broadcasting Agency.
“Nobody sponsored us on this. I am saying it openly on camera. But the outcomes and the cause are much bigger than the money we have spent (on Mozambique intervention).”
He was answering a question on possible financing through Total Energies, given its extensive natural gas extraction investment in the affected area, Cabo Delgado, interrupted in March due to the insurgency in northern Mozambique.
Tota Energies’ investment in Cabo Delgado is the largest private investment in Africa today, worth upwards of $20 billion.
Kagame also answered a question about Rwanda’s rapid response – deploying troops ahead of the joint southern Africa regional bloc Sadc’s mission:
“There’s a neighbour with a burning house and the one who arrives first is asked: why were you so quick to put the fire out?”
There are approximately 5,100 Rwandan personnel participating in United Nations peacekeeping operations, the fifth largest in the world.
Since the beginning of July, it has no fewer than 1,000 soldiers and police in Cabo Delgado to support Mozambique. Rwanda took action before the SADC-joint force sent their troops, which became fully operational on Friday.
Early in August, Rwandan and Mozambican forces recaptured the district headquarters in Mocimboa da Praia, widely considered to be an insurgent base that has carried out attacks in Cabo Delgado since 2017.
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