Rwanda, Mozambique extend defence pact to fight terror

Tuesday January 11 2022
Troops in Mozambique.

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame (left) and Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi (second left) inspect troops in Mozambique on September 24, 2021. PHOTO | COURTESY | MOZAMBIQUE PRESIDENCY

By Johnson Kanamugire

Rwanda and Mozambique have signed an agreement expanding the cooperation of the two countries’ security forces paving the way for extension of the stay of Rwandan troops in the Cabo Delgado Province.

Rwandan troops were deployed in Mozambique six months ago to fight insurgents.

While Mozambique credits the months of joint military operations with Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) for significantly weakening the insurgents and enabling repatriation of civilians from camps to their homes, the country’s military officials say further cooperation is needed to help reform its security sector in a bid to attain full stabilisation and resumption of economic activities.

The agreement was signed at RDF headquarters in Kigali on Monday by Gen Jean Bosco Kazura, Chief of Staff of the RDF, and Admiral Joaquim Mangrasse, the Chief of General Staff of the Mozambican Armed Forces.

This followed series of meetings in Kigali over the weekend where defence and security delegations from both countries reviewed the security situation in the fight against insurgency in the troubled Cabo Delgado province.

Gen Kazura said the Rwanda Security Forces will remain committed in partnership with Mozambique Forces in finding lasting peace in the country.


“The synergy of our joint forces has proved to yield excellent results,” he said.

RDF Spokesperson, Col Ronald Rwivanga, said among the decisions that were made include “expanding the spheres of cooperation in terms of capacity building of the Mozambique Security Forces as well as improving the modus operandi of the joint forces in the theatre.”

According to a statement released by the Rwanda Ministry of Defence, both parties further agreed “to establish joint security force teams to design new strategies to improve the stabilisation and security sector reform process, which is a critical stage in realising sustainable peace and progress in the province.”

Rwanda has over 1,000 troops in Mozambique fighting insurgents in Cabo Delgado under a bilateral agreement.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) also deployed 1,500 troops in the troubled area.

The Mozambican army reports say the presence of Rwandan troops since July 2021 helped restore state authority in its areas of responsibility, namely in Palma and Mocimboa da Praia, where they have been conducting combat and security operations that led to neutralisation of the Ansar Al Sunnah Terrorists.

An estimated 3,000 people were killed and 820,000 displaced in the northern province of Cabo Delgado over the past four years.