Mozambique: Defence Minister Visits Theatre of Operations

Maputo — Pemba (Mozambique), 6 Oct (AIM) - Mozambican Defence Minister Atanasio M'tumuke on Friday visited military units in the theatre of operations against terrorist groups in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

According to a statement from the Defence Ministry, the purpose of his visit was to assess the combat readiness of the troops, receive a briefing on the actions undertaken by the defence and security forces, and draw up additional actions to be taken.

It is almost exactly two years since an insurgency, apparently inspired by Islamic fundamentalism, broke out in Cabo Delgado. It began with attacks against police units in Mocimboa da Praia district on 5 October 2017, and subsequently spread to the districts of Palma, Nangade, Macomia and Muidumbe. About 300 people have been murdered and thousands of houses destroyed since the raids began.

The leaders of the insurgency have never shown their faces, and have never published any list of demands.

M'tumuke visited Cabo Delgado on the same day that President Filipe Nyusi pledged that the government "will not allow the people to die without any protection".

Speaking in the town of Manhica, some 80 kilometres north of Maputo, at celebrations marking the 27th anniversary of the General Peace Agreement signed in Rome on 4 October 1992 between the government and the Renamo rebels, Nyusi insisted that the government is not "distracted" but takes the insurgency in the northern province of Cabo Delgado very seriously.

He promised "we shall continue to urge the defence and security forces to defend the population to the last soldier".

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