Maputo — Nathan A. Sales, the United States Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism, visited Mozambique on Tuesday and Wednesday and, according to a US Embassy press release, the purpose of his visit was "to strengthen the commitment of the US government to supporting the efforts of Mozambique in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism".
Sales held meetings with President Filipe Nyusi and Foreign Minister Veronica Macamo at which he stressed the need for international cooperation to defeat the terrorists who are brutalising civilians in the northern province of Cabo Delgado and driving them from their homes.
"The United States is seriously interested in a partnership with Mozambique", he said, "strengthening our friendship while together we face the challenge of terrorism".
Cited in the release, the US ambassador to Mozambique, Dennis Hearne, said "The US government is committed to working with the government of Mozambique - as well as with other development partners, civil society organisations and the private sector - to promote stability and strengthen the resilience of the Mozambican communities affected by violent extremism and terrorism".
He stressed the need to fight against terrorism, while at the same time protecting the civilian population and providing humanitarian assistance to the people displaced from their homes.
Sales became Coordinator for Counterterrorism with the rank and status of Ambassador-at-Large in August 2017. He leads the State Department's Counterterrorism Bureau and serves as the main adviser to the Secretary of State on questions of international counterterrorism.
Last month Sales took on the additional role of US Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. According to his web page, he "will lead and coordinate U.S. Department of State relations with the Global Coalition and efforts to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS".
ISIS is also known as "Islamic State" (a shortening of its formal name of "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria").
The terrorists in Cabo Delgado became formally aligned with ISIS/Islamic State in 2019. They fly the black flag of Islamic State, and photos of some of their operations have appeared on Islamic State publications and websites. The ideological debt of the Mozambican jihadists to ISIS can be seen from the fact that they chose to name their main military base in the Cabo Delgado district of Mocimboa da Praia "Base Syria".