Mozambique: Weaker rebels carrying out sporadic attacks in Cabo Delgado – president

The Mozambican president said on Friday that the action of armed groups operating in the province of Cabo Delgado is now limited to “sporadic attacks”, ruling out the temptation of “triumphalist speeches” in the fight against terrorism, despite the “progress”.

“In recent times, the terrorists, increasingly weakened, are carrying out sporadic attacks in small groups, sometimes with the aim of stealing food,” Filipe Nyusi said.

Nyusi was speaking at the opening of the fifth ordinary session of the central committee of the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), of which he is the leader. The defence and security forces (FDS), backed by the “local force” – a group of militias – and government forces from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Rwanda are pursuing the armed groups, which are on the run after successive defections.

The head of state noted that the “progress against terrorism” is allowing the gradual return of residents to their areas of origin and the restoration of basic services such as access roads, schools, hospitals, administrative and financial services.

Despite the “reduction in the incidence of terrorist attacks”, the insurgents remain “a major challenge” and one cannot embark on a “triumphant rhetoric” in the fight against armed groups,” he stressed.

Filipe Nyusi noted that the country should continue to focus on increasing its defence capacity against security threats, even though it has international partners in the war in Cabo Delgado. On the other hand, it should invest in the social and economic development of the province and the northern region, he stressed.

Cabo Delgado province is rich in natural gas, but terrorised since 2017 by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.

There are 784,000 internally displaced people due to the conflict, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and about 4,000 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project. Since July 2021, an offensive by government troops, with support from Rwanda and SADC, has allowed areas where there was a rebel presence to recover.

Source: Lusa

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