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Africa News of Friday, 6 August 2021


Rwanda estimates at least 70 insurgents killed, injured in Mozambique

Rwanda Army spokesman, Ronald Rwivanga Rwanda Army spokesman, Ronald Rwivanga

Rwanda Army spokesman Ronald Rwivanga estimates that his forces in Mozambique have already caused at least 70 casualties among insurgents in Cabo Delgado province.

Ronald Rwivanga took stock of the action of Rwandan troops in Cabo Delgado.

"Our forces are advancing towards Mocímboa da Praia (…) and developing successes along the way. They are getting closer to the city, and so far, everything seems to be proceeding as planned," the army spokesman told Lusa by telephone.

He estimated the number of casualties among insurgents at 70, pointing out that the number among insurgents could be higher.

"When we talk about numbers, these are the ones we see physically. The reports that reached us say that the insurgents take their fighters who were killed in combat, so the possibility is that the number is much higher than what we saw," he explained, adding that "up to 70 may not be accurate."

"The numbers we projected and the equipment we confiscated is what we mainly see with our eyes, so it's possible that much more has happened that we haven't seen," he said, too.

Rwivanga noted that Rwandan troops have mostly faced "small groups" that "are everywhere."

In Cabo Delgado, there is already a contingent of one thousand Rwandan military and police to fight against armed groups within the framework of a bilateral agreement between the Mozambican Government and the Kigali authorities.

In addition to Rwanda, Mozambique now has support from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), in a mandate from a "joint force on alert" approved on June 23, at an extraordinary summit of the organization in Maputo.

The summit discussed armed violence in that province, with soldiers from some member countries already on the ground.

The total number of soldiers the organization will send to Mozambique is not publicly known, but experts from SADC, who were in Cabo Delgado, had already stated in April that the mission should comprise around 3,000 soldiers.

Armed groups have terrorized Cabo Delgado province since 2017, with some attacks claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.

Following the attacks, there are more than 3,100 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project, and more than 817,000 displaced, according to Mozambican authorities.