Maputo — The islamist terrorists operating in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado are reportedly releasing hostages because they are no longer able to feed them.
According to a report in the independent newssheet "Mediafax", five girls, aged between 16 and 18, reappeared in the town of Macomia last week, after they had been held prisoner by the terrorists for about three years.
They said that their main task in the terrorist camps was to cook for their captors. They led a nomadic life, accompanying the terrorists as they walked through dense bush from one camp to the next. The girls said they were also obliged to carry the food which the jihadists stole in their raids against villages.
They said the terrorist camps used to be "full of people". But in recent months the food began to run out and the islamists told their captives that those who were able to go back to their homes could do so. The girls decided to leave, and made their way on foot to Macomia town.
The difficulties faced by the jihadists arise from successful operations by the Mozambican defence and security forces, cutting off the terrorist logistics, and also the fact that there is nobody left to steal from, since they have driven so many peasants off their land.
The five girls, named as Sifa Ahmed, Mava Saide, Mariamo Abudo, Fatima Adinane, and Fofiwa Bakari, stayed at the home of one of their uncles in Macomia. But they said they intend to travel to the neighbouring province of Nampula, where most of their families have sought refuge.