Rwanda military contingent in Mozambique operating with Turkish made Otokar Cobra II APCs

On September 13, Hammer of War tweeted pictures of the Rwandan military contingent in northern Mozambique operating with Turkish-made Otokar Cobra II APCs. The men also use Serbian-made 40 mm PPT Namenska M07 grenade launchers during the visit of the commander of the Mozambican Police at Macomia, on 13th May 2022.
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Rwandan army contingent with Otokar Cobra II APCs (Picture source: Twitter account of Hammer of War)

As explained by Jordan Smith on, in July 2021, the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) deployed 1,000 soldiers and police officers to northern Mozambique, where, since October 2017, the Mozambican government has been fighting ISIS-linked militants in its gas-rich Cabo Delgado province. To date, the conflict has led to at least 3,700 deaths and the internal displacement of 820,000 people.

Earlier in the conflict, President Filipe Nyusi’s administration spent an estimated $154 million on private military companies such as Russia’s Wagner Group to support the nation’s struggling and poorly equipped military. But this assistance, equipment and training failed to improve the situation. Militants from ISIS-Mozambique continued to grow in strength, capturing towns like the key port city of Mocimboa de Praia and carrying out sporadic attacks along the Tanzanian border.

Alarmed neighbours in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) including South Africa and Tanzania became concerned by the potential for the insurgency to spread across the region and pressured Mozambique to accept its help. Nyusi initially declined and instead turned to Rwanda before later approving an SADC presence.

The Rwandans also exported their concept of Muganda (community work) which it had successfully introduced in the Central African Republic where RDF troops have been active as part of the UN mission and under a bilateral agreement. Umuganda involves working with residents in recaptured areas to create a liveable environment through projects such as street cleaning and the rebuilding of infrastructure, which helps stabilize the security situation.

Despite its military successes, some observers and opposition groups in Mozambique have raised concerns about Rwanda’s intervention and the reasons behind it. President Nyusi insists Rwanda asked nothing in return for its deployment, and Kigali has said it was motivated to help by its commitment to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine and the 2015 Kigali Principles on the Protection of Civilians. But not everyone buys this.

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Otokar Cobra II APC (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Otokar Cobra II

Cobra II offers a high level of protection, payload capacity, and large internal volume. In addition to superior mobility, COBRA II APC also comes with the capacity to accommodate 10 personnel including the driver and commander, offering high protection against ballistic, mine and IED threats. Delivering high performance in the toughest terrain and climate conditions with a high power-to-weight ratio, COBRA II is tested rigorously in different parts of the world, on the toughest terrain and climate conditions, and made thousands of miles.

Preferred especially for offering a wide range of weapons integration and mission equipment options, Cobra II is successfully in service for border protection as well as internal security and peacekeeping missions. The modular structure of the vehicle also makes it a flexible platform to be used as a personnel carrier, weapon platform, ground surveillance radar, CBRN reconnaissance vehicle, command control vehicle, and ambulance.

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Rwandan army contingent with PPT Namenska M07 grenade launcher (Picture source: Twitter account of Hammer of War)

PPT Namenska M07 grenade launcher

PPT Namenska is a Serbian manufacturer of arms, mortars, grenade launchers, unmanned ground vehicles, hydraulics and pneumatics, airplane parts and some complex weapons system including modernized M-77 Oganj, Pasars-16, and LRSVM Morava in various stages of production. Its headquarters and main production facilities are located in the town of Trstenik.