peacekeeping principles

Game changers: Innocent Kabandana and Pascal Muhizi, Rwandan officers who overcome jihadists

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Game Changers

By Mehdi Ba

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Posted on December 27, 2021 09:31


“African armies: why are they so bad?” A few years ago, after noting increasing conflicts and the inability of the armed forces to rectify them, we dared to ask this deliberately provocative question, causing something of a scandal on the continent. But asking a question does not prevent us from qualifying the answer, nor even from recognising encouraging victories when they do occur.

This is part 6 of an 8-part series

In September of 2021, the good news came from northern Mozambique, where jihadist groups have been trying to extend their hold for nearly three years. Thanks to the support of the Rwandan army, Maputo has managed to recapture several towns previously occupied by Ansar al-Sunna, an affiliation of the Islamic State. These victories were achieved by Brigadier General Pascal Muhizi and his superior, Major General Innocent Kabandana, who were in charge of the Rwandan intervention in Mozambique and the coordination with the Mozambican army.

Of course, from Rwanda’s perspective, their names are of little importance.

The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF, in power) is not in the habit of celebrating individuals, regardless of their rank or function, especially when the fight is collective. Even so, Muhizi and Kabandana embody the determination and efficacy of the

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