Mozambique: Rwanda Govt Promises More Troops for Cabo Delgado

Maputo — Rwanda intends to send more troops to the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, according to Brig-Gen Patrick Karuretwa, head of international cooperation in the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF).

Speaking to journalists in Kigali, and cited by the South African portal "News 24', Karuretwa said the fresh Rwandan troops would fill the gap left by the withdrawal of the SADC Military Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM).

SAMIM's mandate expires in July, and it is unlikely to be renewed. Lack of funds has been cited as the reason for the withdrawal.

According to the "News 24' report, the logistics for the new Rwandan contingent will be financed by the European Union.

Currently, Rwanda has a contingent of 2,500 troops and police in Mozambique.

The withdrawal of the SAMIM forces "obliges us to take certain measures', said the Rwandan general. "We shall train Mozambican soldiers to occupy the places where SAMIM used to be stationed. We are also increasing the number of our own forces, and making them more mobile, so that they can cover larger areas'.

Karuretwa said that the Rwandan intervention has helped restore relative calm in Cabo Delgado, but pockets of violence persist. This year a new wave of jihadist attacks struck in the southern regions of Cabo Delgado, precipitating a new exodus of displaced people, including into the neighbouring province of Nampula.

Last week, the EU announced that it will disburse about 20 million euros to assist the Rwandan mission in Cabo Delgado, under the EU programme for the promotion of world peace

The Rwandan military mission in Mozambique is covered by a bilateral agreement between Maputo and Kigali.

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