Mozambique: Nyusi reluctant to claim victory in anti-terrorist fight

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Saturday declared that it is the desire of all those who want prosperity to see the natural gas projects in the northern province of Cabo Delgado reactivated.

The main gas liquefaction project, on the Afungi Peninsula, in Palma district, is operated by a consortium headed by the French oil and gas company Total Energies. But all operations at Afungi were suspended in the wake of a terrorist attack against Palma town on 24 March.

Speaking in the Cabo Delgado provincial capital, Pemba, at a joint press conference with the visiting Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, Nyusi said “the companies who have ceased to operate in this zone did not leave because they wanted to. They left because there was a war, and not because of any blackmail”.

“Our friends in Total”, he added, “said clearly that they were leaving because they did not want to put lives at risk”.

Kagame was the guest of honour at the celebrations of Mozambican Armed Forces Day, marking the 57th anniversary of the launch of the national liberation struggle against Portuguese colonial rule on 25 September 1964. He also visited the 1,000 strong Rwandan contingent which has been supporting Mozambique in its resistance against terrorists linked to the self-styled “Islamic state” (ISIS).

Nyusi told the reporters that nether Mozambique nor Rwanda are proclaiming victory in the fight against terrorism.

“We are not yet celebrating successes”, he said, “because we know the enemy we are facing. We are approaching the enemy step by step, and solving the problems that concern us at each moment”.

“Yes, we are in a phase of success”, he added, “but we aren’t singing or celebrating”. The successes include liberating the town of Mocimboa da Praia from ISIS control, consolidating Mozambican control over Palma, and driving the terrorists from their main bases in Mbau, south of Mocimboa da Praia.

Mozambican and foreign journalists were able to visit the scenes of these successes earlier this week.

As for the return of displaced people to areas freed from terrorist hands, Nyusi denied that the government is obliging them to return at once. “We are cautious”, he said, “We are in a phase of cleaning up, of consolidation and of preparing people to return to places they left in a state of trauma. It’s a process that will take time”.

Kagame said that Mozambique is in charge of the joint operations. It was the Mozambican authorities who determined the type of military operations being undertaken.

“We are not here to guarantee the security of a single project, but the stability of the entire country”, he said. “If there are other needs it is up to Mozambique to say what they are, and what we can do to help deal with them”.

“The work hasn’t been easy,” Kagame told the Rwandan contingent, according to posts on his Twitter account. “You have done great work alongside Mozambican troops. You sacrificed and endured days and nights in the scorching sun, heavy rains,” he said.

“The work done so far cannot stop here”, he added. “We now have another task which is to continue rebuilding and protecting this country.”

Source: AIM

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