Maputo — Despite a more visible presence of the Mozambican defence and security forces in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, there were two more terrorist attacks in the province last week, according to a report in Monday's issue of the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique".
The first attack was on 28 July in the Demaio region in Muidumbe districts. Local farmers fell into an ambush set by the insurgents when they were returning from their fields. The terrorists seized and beheaded two of the farmers, and also set fire to crops.
On Thursday an insurgent group raided an area nine kilometres outside the town of Macomia. They burnt most of the houses they found there, but the local people had time to flee, so there were no human casualties.
The insurgency, believed to be inspired by Islamic fundamentalism, began in October 2017, with attacks on police premises in the district of Mocimboa da Praia.
Several hundred alleged insurgents have been captured, and four trials have been held. But since the testimony was heard behind closed doors, the trials have not thrown much light on the origins and motivations of the insurgency.
The most recent trial concluded in the provincial capital, Pemba, on Wednesday. The court sentenced nine people, all of them Tanzanian and Burundian citizens, to 16 year jail terms for conspiracy against the state, attacks on public order and tranquillity, instigation to collective disobedience and membership of a criminal association.
Three people, a Mozambican woman and two Tanzanian men, were acquitted for lack of evidence against them, and in the case of five others, judgement was postponed.