Rwanda plans to deploy troops to help Mozambique fight an insurgency that’s left more than 2,900 people dead and halted Africa’s biggest private investment.
“There are plans to deploy, but plans are not finalized yet,” Rwanda Defence Force spokesman Ronald Rwivanga said by phone Thursday. Veronica Macamo, Mozambique’s foreign minister, and armed forces spokesman Omar Saranga didn’t reply to messages seeking comment.The Southern African Development Community, which doesn’t count Rwanda among its 16 member states, also plans to deploy its standby force to Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province to quell fighting. An Islamic State-linked insurgency prompted a consortium led by TotalEnergies SE to stall a $20 billion liquefied natural gas project in the region. Fighting flared around the town of Palma near the project this week, according to two people familiar with the situation.
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi visited his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame in April, around the same time a SADC summit about the insurgency was postponed. The two leaders discussed issues including fighting terrorism, the Rwandan state broadcaster reported at the time.
Mozambique has yet to inform SADC of any planned deployment from Rwanda, Stergomena Tax, the bloc’s executive secretary, said by phone. Tax declined to comment on when SADC would send troops, saying only that it would happen soon and “as urgently as possible,” and would comprise soldiers from member countries.
“We are deploying,” she said by phone. “We are going to war.”