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“Terrorist” Threat Leading to the Flight of Thousands is “Unacceptable” – EU

“Terrorist” Threat Leading to the Flight of Thousands is “Unacceptable” – EU

The European Union on Thursday condemned, through the president of its Political and Security Committee, the new wave of attacks in Cabo Delgado, describing as “unacceptable” the terrorist attacks that had led thousands to flee their homes in northern Mozambique.

“I think any wave of terrorism is very worrying and unacceptable. The terrorist threat to the lives and livelihoods of people who are being driven from their villages is unacceptable. We share our concerns about the thousands and thousands of internally displaced people who had to flee due to indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which the European Union always firmly condemns,” the Chair of the Political and Security Committee of the European Union (EU), Ambassador Delphine Pronk, said in Maputo today in response to queries from Lusa agency.

“Through our training mission, we are also here to support the Armed Forces of Mozambique in the fight against terrorism,” added the diplomat, who yesterday ended a visit to Maputo aimed at assessing EU cooperation with Mozambique, particularly the Training Mission of the European Union in Mozambique (EUTM-MOZ), led by Portugal and launched in 2022, with a two-year mandate, whose continuity is now on the table.

The meetings, which took place over two days in Maputo, would also serve to assess the future continuity of the training mission for Mozambican Special Forces fighting terrorism in Cabo Delgado, Pronk said. “I’m sure it will help us make that decision,” she observed.

The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group claimed responsibility for 27 attacks on “Christian” villages in Chiùre district, Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, in which it claims 70 people died in recent days.

The group’s propaganda channels documents, with photographs, claims the destruction of 500 churches, houses and public buildings in that district in the south of the province of Cabo Delgado, according to statements to which Lusa has had access.

The Mozambican authorities do not comment on the operational situation, but Lusa has heard in recent days, reports from displaced people arriving in the village of Chiùre, about attacks, the destruction of hospitals, schools and homes, as well as deaths caused in villages in the district by insurgents.

More than 60% of those displaced by the new wave of terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado are children, and 129 schools have been closed, according to a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

As of Wednesday, 33,218 individuals were displaced in Eráti district, Nampula province, and 38,463 in Cabo Delgado, mainly from Chiùre district, to the south, reads the Unicef document summarising the situation on the ground.

At least 52 children separated from their carers arrived at their destination after days of walking, it also said.

The report adds that 61% of these displaced people are children, totalling 43,725. Furthermore, the situation on the ground, with attacks on several villages in the south of Cabo Delgado province, has already led to the closure of 125 schools, including 16 in Memba district, Nampula province, affecting 68,300 students overall.

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“Four schools in Chiure suffered damage in the recent attacks. One school in Erati is occupied by military forces,” the Unicef report details.

In Eráti district, the majority of internally displaced people were welcomed by family members, as well as in a transit centre established at a primary school.

The Unicef report states that 10,900 people, equivalent to 2,500 households, are now housed in seven displacement camps in Chiùre, and that “an undetermined number of internally displaced people are hosted” in neighbouring communities.

In addition to displacements in Chiure district, about 18,000 people from Chiure had fled to four displacement sites in Metuge District, also in Cabo Delgado.

Lusa

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