Mozambican, Rwandan Troops in Major Breakthrough in North

Mozambican and Rwandan news services say that troops from the two countries have recaptured the northern port of Mocimboa da Praia from insurgents. The town, from where the first Islamist attacks were staged in October 2017, had since last year become the de facto headquarters of the militants referred to locally as Al-Shabab.

The recapture came after the two forces had taken five insurgent-held villages near Mocimboa. Joseph Hanlon of Mozambique News Reports and Clippings reports that in response to attacks by better trained and equipped Rwandan troops, the insurgents have followed standard guerrilla tactics and abandoned large bases and split into smaller groups. He also reports that other regional troops - from South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana - are now beginning to arrive in the country in force.

On the peace-making front, former President Joaquim Chissano - who negotiated an end to the 1982 to 1992 civil war involving Renamo - has appealed to the government to consider negotiations with the  insurgents. The former leader - winner of the first  Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership - stressed that the causes of armed violence must be studied to resolve the military and social crisis in the province.

 

The New Times in Kigali carried this photo to accompany its report saying Rwandan and Mozambican forces were encircling the port city from three fronts.

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