Mozambique: Defence and Security Forces Have Anti-Terrorist Plan

Troops from Malawi, the DR Congo and eSwatini at a Southern African Development Community joint training exercise in 2018.

Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi announced on Wednesday that the country's defence and security forces have a detailed plan to crack down on the terrorist groups who have been staging attacks in parts of the northern province of Cabo Delgado since October 2017.

Speaking in the Cabo Delgado provincial capital, Pemba, at the signing ceremony of an agreement formalising World Bank support of 100 million US dollars for assistance to the affected districts, Nyusi said courage and determination are necessary for the fulfilment of the plan, as well as time for modernising and building the capacity of the Mozambican forces.

He added that the government will tread cautiously in choosing what type of aid to accept from other countries.

Nyusi stressed that Mozambique has never refused support - indeed, he has stated on several occasions that no country can win a war against terrorism on its own.

"We are being targeted by groups with hidden intentions, but we refuse to be their victims", said the President.

Mozambicans want to recover the country's security and its territorial integrity, he continued, and the actions involved in the plan involve the country's Indian Ocean coastline, control over the borders with neighbouring countries (for northern Mozambique, the most important of these is Tanzania) and joint efforts between Mozambique and its allies, including sharing intelligence.

Such actions, Nyusi said, "will contribute to preventing radicalisation, terrorism and humanitarian disasters".

The 100 million dollars grant in response to the Cabo Delgado emergency will be managed by the Agency for the Integrated Development of the North (ADIN) and the National Sustainable Development Fund (FNDS) under the auspices of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

A memorandum of understanding was signed in Pemba between the government, represented by Agriculture Minister Celso Correia, and by the UNOPS director for eastern and southern Africa, Rainer Frauenfeld, and witnessed by Nyusi.

Nyusi that the money will be used to build 800 classrooms, ten health units, 43 water supply systems and 200 houses for teachers.

In the districts housing people displaced by the terrorist attacks (such as Ancuabe, Metuge, Montepuez and Chiure), some of the money will also be used for 20,000 improved latrines, and 136 community infrastructures.

"In the short term", said Nyusi, "the government will conclude the programme of financing development projects to the value of 20 million dollars, centred on productive social assistance to take families out of their situation of vulnerability and towards self-sufficiency. This will benefit 324,000 families and 33,000 young people".

"Innocent people have been suffering because of the pitiless actions of the terrorists which have reduced to nothing the results of years of work of many families in the towns and villages of Quissanga, Mocimboa da Praia, Muidumbe, Nangade, Macomia and Palma districts", he added.

This emergency programme will run for three years, and will effectively be run jointly by ADIN and UNOPS.

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