Maputo — The Mozambican government, and the Islamic Council of Mozambique, in partnership with the United States, on Saturday launched a mechanism to identify and analyse the foci of instability that culminate in the violation of human rights in parts of the northern province of Cabo Delgado.
Speaking at the launch of the project, entitled "promoting human rights, harmony and tranquillity in Cabo Delgado", Defence Minister Atanasio M'tumuke invited all actors in Mozambican society to identify and denounce those who threaten peace and create instability in some communities in the province.
A low level islamist insurgency has been under way in the northern districts of Cabo Delgado since October 2017. All the country's orthodox islamic organisations have stressed that they have nothing to do with the insurgents, whose brutal tactics, such as burning villages and beheading their victims they regard as anti-islamic.
Speaking in the provincial capital, Pemba, M'tumuke said "the exchange of information at various levels has allowed the creation of an efficient relationship between the Islamic Council and the government for a struggle against those who are recruiting young people in the mosques and elsewhere, using as bait the promise of employment".
He added that identifying and denouncing all those with such deviant behaviour would be one of the ways to end acts of violence and to promote human rights.
For his part, the General Secretary of the Islamic Council, Sheikh Abdul Carimo, said he hoped that everyone will become involved in actions intended to restore peace, harmony and social coexistence in the communities, through this project, budgeted at 250,000 US dollars.
"Our pledge as moslems, resulting from the teachings of the Koran, is that we should be the first to repudiate violence, and do everything to staunch this situation", he said.
The permanent secretary of the Cabo Delgado provincial government, Antonio Mapure, praised the initiative and the efforts of all those promoting peace, notably the Islamic Council and the embassy of the United States.
"We are relying on the collaboration of all, in contributing to strengthening the brotherhood of reason, promoting and maintaining peace and reconciliation", he said. "Let social harmony prevail throughout our country, and particularly in those areas affected by the criminals, so that our communities can resume their day-to-day activities without fear".