Mozambican and Rwandan troops are now preparing a final assault on strongholds of the Islamic State-linked terrorist group in Cabo Delgado, the northernmost province of Mozambique, according to reports.
This follows the launch of the two countries’ joint military operations against the terror group with the aim of destroying all their bases and neutralising their activities against innocent civilians.
According to latest reports, Rwandan troops are now cleaning the terrorists’ pockets along their axis and preparing for a final assault on the terrorists strongholds in Mocimboa da Praia district which is situated 10 kilometres from the joint forces’ current defensive position at Njama village.
A subsidiary axis force is 35 kilometres away from the terrorists’ stronghold of Ntotwe advancing to link up with the main axis force for a subsequent assault as well.
Just last week, Rwandan and Mozambican forces gained full control of the key base of Awasse after repulsing the retreating Islamic State-linked insurgency. The town was one of the insurgents’ main bases in Mocimboa da Praia.
In other recent military operations against the terror groups, the joint forces also captured two other towns, Palma and Quionga, in the northeast of Cabo Delgado province.
From July to August 4, after capturing the towns and trading centers of Awasse, Palma and Quionga, the joint forces continued to defeat the terrorists and captured other cities and trading centers including Chinda, Mumu, Mbau, Zambia, Mapalanganha, Maputo, Tete, Njama and Quelimane.
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on July 25, said the country’s military is gaining ground against the retreating Islamic State-linked insurgency in Cabo Delgado.
Nyusi was addressing the nation on operations against the terrorists, two weeks after Kigali, at the request of Maputo, deployed 1,000 troops to Cabo Delgado to help fight the terrorists, stabilise the area and restore the authority of the state.
Rwandan troops were sent to work closely with Mozambique Armed Defence Forces (FADM) and forces from SADC, in the fight against terrorism in Cabo Delgado.
In October 2017, armed extremists linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched an insurgency in Cabo Delgado and for months, the Mozambique Defence Armed Forces engaged them in battle.
The militants launched attacks, and in August 2020 seized the port town of Mocimboa da Praia.
More than 50 people were beheaded by terrorists in the province in April 2020 and a similar number in November 2020. In September 2020, the ISIL insurgents captured Vamizi Island in the Indian Ocean.
On March 24, the militants seized Palma, murdering dozens of civilians displacing more than 35,000 of the town’s 75,000 residents.
The violence in Cabo Delgado has driven around 826,000 people from their homes and claimed more than 2,000 lives.
— New Times