Rwanda reinforces its role as a “security provider” in Africa

Rwandan forces supporting the Mozambican army in its fight against the terrorist insurgency took down the last stronghold of the insurgents on Sunday.

A new contingent of Rwandan peacekeepers in the Central African Republic is being deployed to secure vital supply routes to the capital Bangui. Kigali has also declared itself ready to lend a hand to its neighbors, the DRC and Burundi, in the fight against insecurity.

The country of a thousand hills is visibly conducting an all-out diplomatic campaign to boost security cooperation with its neighbors and a policy of “providing security” in Africa.

Rwanda was the first country to respond to a call for assistance from the Mozambican authorities to restore security in the northern province of Cabo Delgado and is now one of the major contributors to the United Nations force in the Central African Republic (UNMISCA).

Rwandan troops deployed since July in Mozambique, 1,000 strong, regained control of the strategic port of Mocimboa da Praia on Sunday from the insurgents, which since August 2020 had become the de facto headquarters of the terrorists known as Al-Shabab (with no known link to the Somali group of the same name).

In early August, Rwandan forces claimed their first successes since their deployment, announcing that they had helped the Mozambican army regain control of Awasse, a small strategic village near Mocimboa da Praia.

In the Central African Republic, the Rwandan army last week began deploying an additional infantry battalion of 750 troops to UNMISCA to secure the vital supply route from the capital Bangui to Cameroon and to accompany the military successes achieved against the rebels.

In the wake of this troop deployment, which comes in the context of a UN Security Council resolution providing for a gradual increase in the number of Minusca troops, Central African President Faustin-Archange Touadéra was received in Kigali, and the two countries signed four bilateral memorandums of understanding, including one on strengthening security cooperation.

On the occasion of the visit of the Central African leader, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said that “Rwanda is very happy to walk hand in hand with the Central African Republic, with the objective of peace, reconciliation, and prosperity”.

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