The Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, on Monday, February 6, challenged the Defense and Security Forces (FDS) to strengthen the mechanisms to combat terrorism in Cabo Delgado province.
The challenge was launched in Maputo, during the inauguration of André Rafael Mahunguane, appointed to the post of Chief of Staff of the Military House, and Eugénio Henrique Zitha Matlaba, to the post of Deputy Commander of the Military Academy Marechal Samora Machel.
According to the head of state, in order to achieve the desired gains, it is necessary that the FDS invest in the training of cadres and in the modernization of counter-terrorism strategies.
“Today the defense of the homeland and sovereignty is more demanding. The academy’s mission, which is to train officers, is no longer a mere statistical exercise that is limited only to the number of cadres trained. The officers trained should be carriers of aptitudes to respond to the current situation of national security characterized by multiple threats, especially the occurrence of attacks from terrorist groups,” said Filipe Nyusi.
The inductees were appointed to their positions last Thursday, February 2, by the President of the Republic in separate dispatches.
Cabo Delgado has been experiencing a conflict since 2017 that terrifies the population. Groups of armed rebels have looted and massacred villages and towns throughout the province, and a variety of attacks have been claimed by the ‘arm’ of the self-proclaimed Islamic State in that region.
The conflict has already caused more than 4000 deaths (data from The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project) and at least one million displaced people, according to an assessment made by the Mozambican authorities.
Since July 2022, a military offensive by Maputo, with support from Rwanda and later SADC, allowed for a climate of greater security in the region that had not been felt for years, and recovered localities that were controlled by the rebels, such as the town of Mocímboa da Praia, which had been occupied since 2020.