- Mozambique: Meeting between Mozambican and Rwandan defense chiefs to fight against the jihadist threat in the Cabo Delgado region
The heads of defense and security of Rwanda and Mozambique have agreed to create joint teams, tasked with designing new strategies to improve the process of stabilization and reform of the security sector in the Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.
The decision was taken during a meeting held on January 9, 2022 at the headquarters of the Rwanda National Police (RNP) in Kigali, aimed at formulating a roadmap for the management of ongoing counter-terrorism operations in Cabo Delgado. Officials said the decision was taken at a critical stage in this area of Mozambique plagued by attacks from Islamic State jihadists.
The meeting was attended by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Rwanda (RDF), General Jean-Bosco Kazura, the Chief of General Staff (CGS) of the Armed Forces of Mozambique (FADM) , Admiral Joacquim Rivas Mangrasse, RNP Inspector General Dan Munyuza, and his visiting counterpart, Commander General Bernardino Rafael.
Islamic State jihadists have been active for four years in the gas-rich northern province of Cabo Delgado. And since the end of November 2021, they have moved their attacks west, to Niassa. The latest attack dates back to December 15, 2021, when Islamic State operatives beheaded an evangelical pastor in Cabo Delgado. The terrorists reportedly handed over the severed head to the victim's wife, who put it in a bag and took it to the Cabo Delgado district police headquarters, under the intimidation of the assassins.
Since last July, more than 3,000 soldiers have been stationed in the affected areas. They belong to the armed forces of Rwanda and 15 countries of the Southern African Development Community, to help the Mozambican army to fight against the jihadists. After an initial raid in Mecula district, Niassa province, in late November 2021, jihadists carried out sporadic attacks on several villages, killing around 24 people.
Meanwhile, on January 6, 2022, the floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) vessel Coral-Sul arrived in Area 4 of the Rovuma Basin, off the coast of Mozambique. The Royuma Basin is operated by the Mozambique Rovuma Venture (MRV). The project represents the first of its kind in the country, as well as the world's first ultra-deep water FLNG, operating at a depth of 2,000 meters.
With a capacity of 3.4 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year, the Coral-Sul FLNG vessel will produce the first gas from the offshore Coral field, which contains approximately 16 trillion cubic feet of gas. It is expected to start production from the second half of 2022. Italian oil company Eni, which discovered the offshore Coral field, will lead the project which, over the next 25 years, is expected to generate $19.3 billion in revenues for the Mozambican state, also satisfying Mozambique's domestic gas demand.
In addition to income generation, the project will be instrumental in the implementation of other projects across Mozambique, while increasing socio-economic benefits such as job creation.