Maputo — Mozambican Defence Minister Salvador M'tumuke declared on Tuesday that the terrorist attacks in the northern province of Cabo Delgado do not constitute threats to effective peace in the country.
He was responding to the latest attack by armed groups, believed to be Islamic fundamentalists, last Thursday night when they raided the village of Piqueue, in Macomia district, killing at least ten people, and wounding 14 others. About 55 houses were burnt, and the local health post was looted and then set on fire.
Speaking to reporters in Maputo during the commemorations of the 54th anniversary of the start of the war for Mozambican independence, M'tumuke said "the attacks by these criminals are not a threat to peace. All the institutions in Cabo Delgado are operating normally. That is, since the criminal activities in that region began, on 5 October last year, the Defence and Security Forces have been guaranteeing the security of the public".
"These are attitudes and activities by criminals who are trying to destabilise security and the normal circulation of the public", the Minister added. But people were still circulating normally in Cabo Delgado, he said.
This insurgency began with attacks against police premises in Mocimboa da Praia district on 5 October last year and the terrorists, known locally as "Al Shabaab", have also launched raids into the neighbouring districts of Macomia, Palma and Nangade.