Islamic militias in the northern part of Mozambique, the province of Cabo Delgado, have mounted an armed insurgency against the Mozambican government since 2017. The conflict appears to tap into anger about the region’s chronic poverty, unemployment and weak public services under the Frelimo-led government in Maputo.
More than 3,000 civilians have been killed, 800,000 people have been displaced and there is widespread food insecurity. The insurgency is also a threat to foreign energy projects in the region. It’s been difficult for the Mozambican military to deal with it. The deployment of Rwandan troops, however, has made a significant impact on the insurgency.
The ties between Rwanda and Mozambique are growing. They signed a memorandum of understanding in 2018. It has humanitarian and civilian protection aspects but Rwanda also sees Mozambique as an important economic partner.
In today’s episode of Pasha, Phil Clark, a professor of international politics at SOAS University of London, dissects the possible reasons for Rwanda’s involvement in Mozambique. He looks at what impact the peacekeeping has had, what’s in the relationship for Rwanda and how peace and stability in northern Mozambique should be approached in the long term.
“Rwandan soldiers sit on a boat in the port city of Mocimboa da Praia, northern Mozambique, on August 13, 2021.” By Emidio Jozine/AFP found on Getty Images.