Mozambique: Is Rwandan Army a Mercenary Force?

Kagame’s Lust for Power and Prestige Made him Turn Rwanda’s Military into a Mercenary Force for Hire – the Case of Securing US$20 Billion French Investments in Mozambique

By David Himbara

General Paul Kagame punches above his weight globally by supplying soldiers to fight in various parts of the world. The Mozambican case is different – it is not a UN-mandated operation. The host country, Mozambique, is poverty-stricken and can’t afford to finance the fighting. This is a mercenary supply of Rwanda’s soldiers to secure the US$20 billion French investments that were overran by rebels in Mozambique. The financier is France.

General Paul Kagame with France’s head of Emmanuel Macron (top) and with Mozambique’s head of state, Filipe Nyusi.

General Paul Kagame’s lust for power and prestige drive him to try and punch above his weight globally by supplying the only resources he has – fighters. This demonstrated by the 5,604 Rwandan soldiers supplied to various UN operations as of March 30, 2021. The vastness of Rwanda’s supply to global military operations becomes evident when compared to India whose contribution to the UN operations is less than Rwanda’s at 5,548. Yet, Rwanda’s population at 12 million is a drop in the ocean compared to India’s population of 1.3 billion.

Kagame’s latest military adventure in Mozambique to which Rwanda is supplying 1,000 fighters is different, however. This is not a UN-mandated fight. It is a mercenary deployment paid by third party – France. Mozambican head of state Filipe Nyusi disclosed that France and Mozambique are working together to restore security in his country. Reporting on May 15, 2021 about his visit to France, President Nyusi announced that France was ready to assist in the fight against terrorism in Mozambique as follows:

“It became clear that Mozambique and France share vital economic interests, the success of which involves an environment of peace, security and stability in Mozambique. We reaffirmed our commitment to the restoration of peace and security and normality in the areas affected by the barbaric acts of terrorists, we shared the measures that our country has been taking to end this scourge and the solidarity and interest in supporting in the fight against terrorism by bilateral and multilateral partners…We received assurances from President Macron about continued support.”

So, how much is France paying Kagame for this mercenary deployment in Mozambique? Stay tuned.