1. Cabo Delgado: Rwandan company about to enter the gas business?

DW 7 March 2022: After all, there may be a payment for Rwandan military intervention in northern Mozambique, with the blessing of Total. The construction company NPD will be able to operate in Cabo Delgado. The NPD, seen as close to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, is one of the country’s largest construction companies, involved in major works such as dams, roads and bridges. Reacting to the announcement, the director of the non-governmental organization Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), Adriano Nuvunga, comments: “We are already seeing Rwandans, who initially said they were coming here to help, but are already beginning to benefit [from the gas business].”

Since the entry of Rwandan troops in Cabo Delgado in mid-2021 to help Mozambique fight the insurgency, the contents of the agreement signed between Maputo and Kigali is unknown. The Mozambican Parliament has not even been informed. Therefore, the action, considered untransparent, is often criticized by various sectors of society. For the academic João Feijó: “This may be news that underlies the idea that the Rwandan motivation to intervene in Cabo Delgado is not related to a pan-Africanist duty and solidarity with Mozambique, as it had been touted”. According to Feijó, this may be “a decision framed in an economic strategy of entering the gas business and the use of contractors that will arise after the implementation of Total”.

Africa Intelligence states that “French giant TotalEnergies has a debt to pay to Rwanda for its role in restoring security in Cabo Delgado province,” something long pointed out by several sectors, but never confirmed by any of the governments and not even by Total. Feijó stresses that international relations are driven by interests. “Sooner or later, we would realize the economic relationship that exists in this Rwandan strategy, and we are now beginning to see,” he says.

2 . Dom Juliasse Sandramo Appointed as Bishop of Pemba

On 8 March 2022 the Pope appointed D. António Juliasse Ferreira Sandramo, 53, apostolic administrator of the diocese and auxiliary of Maputo, as the new bishop of Pemba in Mozambique. The information was published by the Holy See press room in a statement. The Catholic leader was born on March 20, 1968 and has been bishop since December 2018; in 2021, he assumed the mission of apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Pemba, after Pope Francis transferred Bishop Luiz Fernando Lisboa to the Brazilian diocese of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim.

In early 2022, religious leaders in Cabo Delgado Province in northern Mozambique issued a joint statement to denounce the crisis over terrorist violence in the region, particularly in Pemba. “The province is in a profound humanitarian crisis caused by terrorist violence, in a regression of integral development indicators also aggravated by the consequences of covid-19’s restrictive pandemic prevention measures,” the text states. Religious communities are available to “collaborate with the government, institutions and organizations of good dedicated to the cause of the establishment of peace in the Province of Cabo Delgado”. The signatories, among them D. António Juliasse, call for a positive view of religion, distancing themselves from violence and prejudices, arguing that society dialogue “in a frank, open, honest and inclusive way”.

3. Putin in Mozambique

The picture below was taken in October 1986, a few days before former Mozambican President Samora Machel died in a plane crash. It shows Vladimir Putin, second from left, with a group that includes Samora Machel. At the time, Putin was a military adviser in Mozambique.

 

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