Rwandan and Mozambican forces have taken back the centre of the strategic port town of Mocimboa da Praia in northern Mozambique from insurgent forces, who had held the town for almost a year. SADC Intervention force is still 400km from the battle.
The symbolic victory, spearheaded by the Rwandans, happened before a regional intervention force had joined battle with the insurgents, who are affiliated to Islamic State.
It was not clear how much combat was required to re-occupy the town. Some sources said the insurgents had abandoned the town without intense fighting, as their military base is some distance away. The Mozambique defence ministry announced on TV that the Mozambican and Rwandan forces were in control of government buildings and the airport and sea port while some operations were still continuing in the outskirts of the town.
The ministry said the insurgents were losing ground.
The assault on Mocimboa da Praia, which the insurgents had been using as a base for operations further into the northernmost province of Cabo Delgada, began on Friday with an advance on two fronts by land. Though some Rwandan and Mozambican troops arrived in the town in small boats, this was only after the insurgents...