Maputo — The Mozambican Defence and Security Forces have been gaining ground in the northern districts of Cabo Delgado province, faced with brutal attacks by terrorist groups, according to the General Commander of the police, Bernadino Rafael, cited in Thursday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias".
Rafael was speaking during a visit to Namaacha district, on the border with Eswatini and South Africa. The main purpose of the visit was to remove the leadership of the frontier police at Namaacha, because of their complicity in schemes to smuggle illegal Mozambican migrants into South Africa, but Rafael also briefly addressed security issues.
He said that operations by the Mozambican forces have led to a security improvement in Cabo Delgado, and thus to the freedom movement of people and goods in parts of the province. However, actions are underway in other hotspots intended to restore full tranquility, he added.
Rafael claimed that the security situation has improved significantly in Quissanga, Macomia, Ibo and Meluco districts, but in Nangade there are some lingering hotspots to be quelled.
"When a conflict is ignited, there is a labourious process intended to regain space and that is what the defence and security forces are doing now, giving their best to restore public order and security," he said.
Rafael stressed that the defence forces are also committed to re-establishing order in the central provinces of Manica and Sofala. Here the dissident "Renamo Military Junta" has not yet accepted the offer made by President Filipe Nyusi, to surrender and join the ongoing Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programme, under the peace agreement which Nyusi signed with Renamo leader Ossufo Momade in Auhust 2019.
Not for the first time, the Junta's leader, Mariano Nhongo, had shown no willingness to enter talks, said Rafael, and under those conditions the defence and security forces would spare no effort to restore order and the free moment of people and goods.