Less than a month after the deployment of Rwandan troops, tensions are already emerging, with leading Mozambican human rights activists claiming that the Rwandan forces are conducting their operations like “Mercenaries”, with little or no command from the Mozambican military.

When the deployment was announced, the Government of Rwanda said that the “Joint Force” will work in “close collaboration” with the Armed Defense Forces of Mozambique (FADM) and the forces SADC “in designated sectors of responsibility”. However, more recent information indicates that Rwandan troops were contracted by France for the restoration of security in Afungi and the creation of conditions for resuming the work of construction of the LNG complex. At best, Rwanda is acting like another mercenary company. “There is no help here between states, Rwanda is acting as a force unto itself. It is going back to that problem that we have already denounced, which is from “Iraqization”

of Cabo Delgado”, said Adriano Nuvunga, Executive Director of the CDD. The concern of France and Rwanda is not solving violent extremism in Cabo Delgado, but “cleaning” the area around the Mozambique LNG project to allow work to resume. “It’s not the question of human lives, or restoring peace and security to the population of Cabo Delgado. The question is to create conditions for the project of Total can move forward. And that means Iraqization”, a new form in disguise to build a wall around that Afungi area”.

Adriano Nuvunga has no doubts that every euro that France is investing in military operations will be recovered through Mozambique gas. He warns that the military solution may escalate the further militarization of Cabo Delgado: “When Rwandan troops finish their mission, military operations will have to be continued because there will not have been a dialogue solution. A military solution always presupposes the presence of military forces. It means that Mozambique will remain a cash cow of natural gas, as already happens in Pande and Temane (Inhambane) where the South African company Sasol has been exploring gas for 20 years, without creating benefits to Mozambique, denying the right of the development of Mozambicans”.

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