27 August 2018

Mozambique: Security Forces and Rebels Attack Pundanhar, Cabo Delgado

Photo: This Day
Gunman (file photo).

Security forces attacked a rebel base near Pundanhar, Palma, Cabo Delgado, on 16 August, capturing a suspected rebel leader, Abdul Raim, and killing four fighters, Bloomberg (20 Aug) reported. VoA (22 Aug) reports that rebels responded by attacking the village on 21 August and destroyed the local administration building and burning houses. Pundanhar is near the Ruvuma River which is the border with Tanzania, and many residents fled to Tanzania. Military action has been taking place since early August and there was at least one raid on a rebel base on 6 August. (Zitamar 10 Aug)

A group of four men attacked Cobre village, Quiterajo, Macomia on 23 August and killed two people. (Lusa 24 Aug) The village is near the coast, 40 km south of Mocimboa da Praia and 100 km from Pundanhar.

Meanwhile police claim to have prevented the recruitment of 33 people from Nampula to join the Islamist insurgency in Cabo Delgado. The 33, who included youths, elderly people and even children, were travelling in a sailboat from Geba, Memba, Nampula to Mocimboa da Praia, Cabo Delgado. The boat ran into problems in the area of Pangane.

The police intercepted it, and sent the 33 back to Geba. But the 33 insisted that they were fishermen and were only going to Cabo Delgado because the fishing off the coast of Mocimbo da Praia is better than in Memba at this time of year. The police do not believe this story, and said the people had been tricked by being promised a chance to fish, but would be forced to join the insurgents. The 33 people returned to Geba say nobody recruited them, and that travel by fishermen along the northern coast is quite normal.When there seems to be a shortage of fish in one area, the fishermen move to another. Their relatives backed up their stories, telling reporters they had simply intended to fish off the Cabo Delgado coast. (AIM En 22 Aug)

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