The efforts of the joint Mozambique-SADC-Rwanda-EU military operations were given a boost by the retaking of the town of Mocimboa da Praia in northern Mozambique, in an operation headed by Rwandan and Mozambican soldiers. The town was retaken over the weekend, with success being declared on 10 August 2021. The town had previously been claimed by the Ansar al Sunna insurgents. This despite the fact that the Government of Mozambique never having admitted that Mocímboa da Praia was in the hands of the insurgents.

The joint forces took control of both public and private buildings in Mocimboa da Praia, including government offices, the airport, hospital, schools, market and the port, which the insurgents were using as a base for easy transport of goods and people on the water. “We are progressing well in Cabo Delgado Province”, this according to Colonel Ronald Rwivanga, on a text interview with AFP.

The announcement was made by the Rwandans. Hours later, the Ministry of National Defense came to confirm what was already known: “Joint forces – Mozambique and Rwanda, control the village of Mocímboa da Praia since 11 am today. At the moment, operations continue in the village of Mocímboa da Praia with the aim of consolidating control “, said Colonel Omar Saranga, Defense and Spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defence.

The Mozambican authorities highlighted that the success of operations results from the collaboration of local communities and called for the strengthening of collective surveillance. Despite this reference, both the Rwandan and Mozambican authorities do not offer information on civilians, such as the number rescued, the number injured and/or killed during military operations and the state they are in. There is no public information about the state of the village, occupied by insurgents since August 11, 2020.

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