Russian mercenaries forced to retreat in northern Mozambique
A group of Russian mercenaries has been unsuccessful in neutralizing the alleged Islamist insurrection that is raging in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique for almost two years now.
A senior United Nations official familiar with the issue drew up a report describing how the Russian mercenaries, known as the Wagner Group, launched several operations against the alleged Islamists, but without success despite having sophisticated means, including air support and drones.
Some of the report’s conclusions are quoted by the May issue of the Air War Analysis magazine, reproduced this Tuesday by the publication Carta de Moçambique.
The document highlights yet another important aspect that helps to understand how violence has not yet been neutralized in Cabo Delgado province, with its vast number of dead and thousands of displaced people.
It is the belief of the United Nations official that the Mozambican armed forces, made up mainly of elements from the south of the country, are seen more as occupation forces than as guarantors of the security of the populations.
The report states that the Russian mercenaries will have suffered fatalities, and cites two occasions when this will have happened: clashes in Muidumbe and Macomia, without however indicating dates for those clashes.
The Carta de Moçambique writes that, so far, Russian diplomacy has refused to admit the presence of mercenaries of this nationality on Mozambican soil and, of course, the existence of any fatalities.
Mozambican authorities also say they are totally unaware of the presence of Russian fighters in their territory.
The Wagner Group would be based in Nacala and at the root of its failure to deal with Islamists in Cabo Delgado is that, according to a veteran “African mercenary”, Neall Ellis, quoted by Air War Analysis, he would not be prepared either for the terrain or for the type of conflict in northern Mozambique and would have undervalued the opponent. A mistake that, as a rule, is paid dearly.
The text of the Carta de Moçambique can be seen here