June 22, 2024
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Rwanda Deploys 2,000 More Troops to Natural Gas Rich Mozambique

Rwanda has deployed 2,000 more troops to Mozambique, a region that is endowed with natural gas. The troops joined atleast 2,500 Rwandan soldiers and police deployed to Mozambique since 2021. The troops were deployed to help restore peace in the northeastern Cabo Delgado province, home to TotalEnergies’ natural gas-export project.

The troops arrived last week, according to Ronald Rwivanga, spokesman for the Rwanda Defence Force.

Since the start of the year, the rebels have regrouped and ratcheted up attacks, raising questions about security as TotalEnergies weighs restarting its project. ExxonMobil Corp. plans an even bigger LNG export facility adjacent to TotalEnergies’, but it’s also on hold.

“We are just beefing up our forces there,” Rwivanga said Monday, adding the additional troops weren’t specifically relieving hundreds of troops from the regional Southern African Development Community that are leaving the country by July 15. “Just to be able to cover a wider area and to be able to operate more effectively.”

According to reports, violence linked to Islamic – State that disrupted  and delayed a $20billion TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil projects for a period of three years, has surged in recent months.

The Rwandan troops have played a key role in dislodging the jihadist groups from where they staged a large-scale attack that killed more than 800 people in the town of Palma near the TotalEnergies project. The Islamist militants earlier this month staged their boldest attack since then, raiding the town of Macomia less than 100 miles from Total’s project.

Mozambique’s security forces have struggled with the insurgency since it started in 2017. In February, the UN reported that the arrival of SADC and Rwandan forces in the second-half of 2021 helped, with the number of fighters with battlefield experience falling to between 160 and 200. Previously, there had been as many as 3,000, according to the International Crisis Group.


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