Mozambique: Government Says 129 Insurgents Killed this Month

(File photo).

Government forces killed 129 insurgents in four operations in April, Interior Minister Amad Miquidade reported, in a joint press conference with Defence Minister Jaime Neto.

+ 39 killed in Muidumbe on 7 April.

+ 59 killed on Quirimba island on 10 April.

+ 30 killed on Ibo Island on 11-12 April.

+ 1 Killed on Ibo with the capture of a boat on 13 April.

Nothing was said about government casualties.

Miquidade also attacked the press and Renamo for "acts of disinformation [of] some news organizations [and] spokesmen." Miquidade declared that "the Defence and Security Forces strongly condemn the statements by the spokesman of the Renamo party, which accuses the Mozambican state of murdering civilians." This was a reference to a 23 April statement by Renamo spokesman Jose Manteigas saying the security forces on 12 April had murdered defenceless civilians arriving on a boat; he gave 8 names of people killed, including a local Renamo leader.

Zitamar (29 Apr) writes "In a press conference yesterday, the ministers of defence and the interior said they wouldn't 'tolerate' those who accuse the state of killing civilians during counter-terrorism operations. The comment was aimed at opposition party Renamo, but it has also been interpreted as a veiled threat to the media."

Seventeen national and international civil society organizations have submitted a letter to President Filipe Nyusi expressing their concern about the increase in police violence against defenceless civilians in Cabo Delgado by the police Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR) and the Special Operations Group (GOE). The organizations also denounce the “harassment and intimidation” of civil society groups and journalists. They note in particular the disappearance on 7 April of Ibraimo Abu Mbaruco, a journalist at Palma Community Radio. Zitamar (29 Apr) reports that "Mbaruco continues to be held by the military", and that he was held first in the military quarters in Muidumbe. and is now being held in Mueda.

Insurgent control of N380. Insurgents now operate regularly along this route, exercising a form of semi-control over the Unguia - Macomia stretch of the road, according to Intelyse (30 April) Unguia is the junction with the road from Montepuez to the west and Bilibiza and Quisanga to the east. The N380 is the only paved road north from Pemba to the gas fields in Palma. There have been multiple insurgent attacks in March and April 2020 on the N380 between Unguia and Machova Koko 10 km further north. Insurgents control this stretch of road and can erect checkpoints in the area and potentially tax traffic travelling along the road, and are able to attack at will along this route, Intelyse says. This allows the militants to strain government and military supply lines to Cabo Delgado’s Northern Districts.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa met with President Filipe Nyusi and Defence Minister Jaime Neto this afternoon in Chimoio.

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