Rwanda was in July the first African country to send troops to support the Mozambican army in its fight against a jihadist insurgency in the province of Cabo Delgado, which is home to one of the largest liquefied natural gas projects in Africa.
The Rwandan president landed in the provincial capital Pemba on Friday morning, where his Mozambican counterpart Filipe Nyusi welcomed him, tweeted the Rwandan Broadcasting Agency (RBA) which oversees the public broadcast media.
The two heads of state met with Rwandan troops deployed in the provinces, the RBA added.
Shortly after Rwanda, some of the 16 member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) also deployed troops there, including nearly 1,500 South African soldiers.
The European Union, for its part, launched a military training mission for Mozambique’s armed forces in July.
The Rwandan forces claimed their first successes in early August, claiming in particular to have taken over the strategic port of Mocimboa da Praia from the insurgents.
The port city, the target of the first jihadist attack in Mozambique in October 2017, was, since August 12, 2020, in the hands of local jihadists, known as Al-Shabab (“young people” in Arabic), and was become their de facto headquarters.
In March, the jihadists attacked the city of Palma, the base of industrial operations for French energy giant Total, forcing the group to suspend work on a $ 20 billion gas project.
Despite the recent successes of the Mozambican army and its allies, the insurgents have continued their attacks.
Sources within the security forces recently reported a series of attacks in the district of Quissanga, south of Mocimba da Praia, where the jihadists are believed to have withdrawn since the port town was taken over.
The latest attack was carried out Thursday evening in the village of Lindi.
“Two people were killed and two injured” and several abducted women and girls, a police source said on Friday on condition of anonymity.
Insurgents also ambushed two buses carrying soldiers later that night, killing at least one, a police officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.
This ambush occurred on a major road, closed for two years due to similar attacks and recently reopened after the arrival of foreign troops.
In total, at least ten people have been killed in several villages in Quissanga over the past week, another policeman said.
According to local and military sources, five civilians were beheaded on September 17 by jihadists about 150 kilometers south of Palma.
The jihadist attacks, which have multiplied for a year, have killed some 3,300 people over the past four years, half of them civilians, and have forced nearly 800,000 people to flee, according to the NGO Acled.
Presidents Kagame and Nyusi are due to address the press on Friday evening.