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Rwanda's Kagame visits troops in Mozambique, confirms mission on course

Rwanda President Paul Kagame (L) and Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi (R) both wearing military fatigue, review troops on 24 september 2021 in Pemba, Cabo Delgado province   -  
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SIMON WOHLFAHRT/AFP or licensors

Mozambique

Rwandan President Paul Kagame visited the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado to reaffirm the importance of collaboration between the two countries.

Kagame met with President Nyusi and reaffirmed that the conflict in northeastern Mozambique against armed jihadist groups, marked by some successes of joint Mozambican and Rwandan forces, is in a "consolidation phase

"I don’t see any insurmountable problem here; Whether it is fighting with insurgents, dealing with terrorists, and at the same time dealing with development matters that have been talked about. I don’t see any insurmountable problem," Kagame said.

Rwanda was the first African country to send troops to the province - a thousand soldiers and police officers - in Jul, to help the Mozambican army in the northeast of the country facing increasing attacks by armed groups since late 2017.

Other countries in the region have followed suit, including South Africa, which sent 1,500 soldiers.

The Rwandan military in early August said its forces and Mozambican troops had retaken Mocímboa da Praia, a key port city from Islamist militants in northern Mozambique

Mocímboa da Praia located in Cabo Delgado province was the rebels' last stronghold and home to one of Africa's biggest gas fields.

The insurgents have not yet commented but the news is seen as a major gain for Mozambique in its fight against insurgents in its north

Rwanda last month sent 1,000 soldiers to Mozambique to fight the militants, who launched an insurgency in 2017.

More than 3,000 people have been killed and 820,000 displaced during the conflict.

The Mozambican armed force which has been struggling to regain control of the province has been reluctant to seek foreign military help but has now accepted help from its neighbours.

The southern African regional bloc, SADC, is sending in hundreds of troops, while former colonial power Portugal is on the ground instructing soldiers.

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