RWANDAN troops, who arrived in Cabo Delgado on Friday, have already engaged in a firefight with the insurgents, according to security sources in Mozambique.
They said on Tuesday the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) soldiers set off early on a patrol from Afungi – the suspended liquid natural gas processing plant – into the forest around nearby Palma and then encountered the insurgents at the village of Quionga.
“As the insurgents retreated towards the Tanzanian border, a total of 30 insurgents were reportedly killed by the Rwandan units. Late afternoon the RDF was still patrolling the forest areas around Afungi,” the military analyst said.
He also reported several attacks by the insurgents on civilians in Muidumbe district to the southwest, including the villages of Nampanha and Mandava, on Monday.
And on Tuesday Mozambique security forces rescued, unhurt, the pilot of a light aircraft that had been forced to crash land on the beach south of the coastal town of Mocímboa da Praia, which has been occupied by insurgents since August 2020.
The source said on Monday the aircraft, presumably chartered by a private company removing equipment from Afungi, had lost its propeller while flying over Mocímboa da Praia. The pilot had managed to glide the aircraft south of the town before landing. Government forces in helicopters had tried to lift the aircraft but failed and so decided to destroy it.
It is not clear what the aircraft was doing over Mocímboa da Praia. There is some speculation that it might have been doing photo reconnaissance.
The source said that at dawn on Tuesday a Mozambique government patrol had launched an attack on insurgents at Saba Saba village on the border between the Mocímboa da Praia and Muidumbe districts.
Mid-morning on Tuesday government forces also launched a mechanised attack on insurgents at Mitope village in Mocímboa da Praia.
And some Rwandan forces had deployed to the town of Nangade in Nangade district, west of Palma.
Meanwhile, a dhow carrying people displaced by the fighting, from Ibo to the provincial capital of Pemba in the south, had sunk and 11 women and children had drowned, the security source said. – Daily Maverick