Female soldiers in frontline against insurgents in Northern Mozambique

In northern Mozambique, a unit of female naval soldiers has been battling alongside their male counterparts to drive back against a group of  insurgents.

Until a 1,000-strong Rwandan force arrived, the rebels held the important town of Mocimboa da Praia in the Cabo Delgado region.

They drove the insurgents to flee to isolated places and disband into smaller groups.

Lt. Yvonne Umwiza, the commander of a Rwandan speed boat unit, noted that in mixed units, women and men were treated equally.

“There are no specific challenges here in Cabo Delgado for us as female soldiers,” she said. “We face the same problems as the men and we are very well trained to perform our duties.”

The Islamic State-allied militants created a humanitarian disaster in Cabo Delgado during their four-year war, displacing 8,000 people and killing 3,000 people.

As a result of the fighting, approximately one million people are in desperate need of food, according to the United Nations’ World Food Programme.

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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