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Cabo Delgado Residents Flee Insurgent Threat Over Christmas – IOM

Cabo Delgado Residents Flee Insurgent Threat Over Christmas – IOM

Terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique, caused more than 430 people to flee between 26 and 28 December, according to an IOM report to which Lusa had access on Tuesday.

According to the survey by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the issue is attacks and “fear” of attacks by these groups on residents of Mucojo and Pagane, in the district of Macomia.

“They triggered 434 individual displacements. The families reported sought shelter in host communities in the districts of Macomia and Ibo,” the report states, with information gathered on the ground.

According to the document, approximately 68 families, totalling 255 people, have arrived on the island of Matemo and “intend to move on to the island of Quirimbas in the coming weeks”, including 157 minors.

“Due to the prevailing security concerns reported by the displaced families, their intentions during their stay in the host communities remain uncertain,” the IOM also reports.

On 31 December, the Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for a new attack in Cabo Delgado, in which it said four more soldiers were killed, the third of its kind in less than a month.

According to information provided by the terrorist group on its propaganda channels, the attack took place this week and killed four soldiers from the Mozambican army and the international military security assistance mission (SAMIM).

On the same channels, the terrorist group presents alleged evidence of clashes with the military, which it has been fighting in Cabo Delgado recently, particularly in the district of Macomia.

On Friday, the terrorist group claimed another attack in Cabo Delgado in which it said nine soldiers were killed.

Earlier, on 9 December, the Islamic State had claimed responsibility for an attack in Cabo Delgado in which five soldiers died, and also claimed to have beheaded a Christian civilian.

The province of Cabo Delgado has been facing an armed insurgency for six years, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State, which has led to a military response since July 2021, with support from Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), liberating districts near gas projects.

The conflict has already displaced a million people, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and caused around 4,000 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project.

On 22 November, Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi called for decisions on the capacity of the Armed Forces in Cabo Delgado to respond, namely with reservists, in view of the planned withdrawal of foreign forces supporting the terrorist groups on the ground.

“Concrete decisions are needed on the response capacity of the Armed Forces in relation to their action in the fight against terrorism in Cabo Delgado in the period after the withdrawal of friendly forces from SAMIM [the SADC mission in Mozambique] and Rwanda,” asked Nyusi, at the opening of the XXIV Coordinating Council of the ministry of national defence.

“To this end, your reflection should also assess how best to capitalise on the wealth of reservists, committing them directly or indirectly to various missions for the defence of our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. And the current reality justifies it,” he added.

Last August, the SADC summit approved a 12-month extension of the mission in Cabo Delgado until July next year. Last July, an evaluation mission proposed the complete withdrawal of SAMIM troops in Cabo Delgado by July 2024, noting that the situation in the province “is now calm”, even though the risks remain.

See Also

In addition to SAMIM and the Mozambican government forces, Rwandan troops are fighting the insurgency in Cabo Delgado, operating on the perimeter of the area where the natural gas projects in the Rovuma basin are located.




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