Africa-Press – Mozambique. The military intervention of Rwanda in support of government troops in Mozambique, in the northern region of Cabo Delgado, points to the involvement of France, said South African military expert Abel Esterhuyse on Tuesday.
“It is possible that there is an economic interest for the Rwandans, but I think it is much more than that, I also suspect the existence of a French connection,” Esterhuyse told Lusa.
The South African analyst is head of the Strategic Studies department at the Faculty of Military Science at Stellenbosch University in the Cape.
“I may be wrong in this analysis, it is an academic discussion and not factual, but I think all this points to French involvement in Africa,” Abel Esterhuyse stressed, pointing out that “it is predominantly French companies that are receiving the misfortunes of Cabo Delgado.”
Regarding the apparent military “incapacity” and “ineffectiveness” of the offensive of the Armed Forces of Mozambique against the “insurgency”, which since July has been supported by Rwanda and later joined by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission, led by South Africa, the analyst said it was a “political and corruption problem.
“The military incapacity of Mozambique’s Armed Forces, in my opinion, is a political problem and, predominantly a corruption problem. It is a problem of capacity created through political management on the one hand, and on the other, by corruption,” Esterhuyse said.
“Cabo Delgado was a misgoverned province”, he stressed.
He advised the Mozambican authorities to create a credible intelligence network in the northern region to deal with the situation of insecurity and criminality in Cabo Delgado.
“You have to keep in mind that there is no media in that area, so there is no open source information for the public, for the military and for the bureaucracy. In most countries, there is very often open source information that can be trusted. Here we have nothing,” Abel Esterhuyse pointed out.
That is why the South African analyst pointed out that if Mozambique intends to deal “comprehensively” with the “problem” in Cabo Delgado, “the first thing to do is to establish an intelligence network”.
“To get a good understanding of the problem that is being faced because I am absolutely convinced that not even the SADC forces, at the moment, have a good understanding of what the problem is that they need to face in Cabo Delgado,” he said.
An offensive by government troops with the support of Rwanda, which was later joined by SADC allowed for increased security, recovering several areas of Cabo Delgado where there were rebels, including the town of Mocímboa da Praia, which had been occupied since August 2020.
The province of Cabo Delgado is rich in natural gas but terrorised by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.
The conflict has led to more than 3,100 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project, and more than 817,000 displaced people, according to Mozambican authorities.