Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi has pledged to defeat insurgents who have been attacking residents of Cabo Delgado province
Speaking during the country’s celebration of 46 years of independence, President Nyusi said a reinforced attack on terrorism in Cabo Delgado will take place soon, with external support.
“The valiant defence and security forces will intensify the operational actions to hunt these criminals, with the necessary support from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other friendly and brotherly countries,” President Nyusi added.
“We will do everything so that the coming days will be of despair and agony for terrorists operating in Mozambique,” he added.
He reaffirmed that the country “never refused any support”, citing as an example the training of Mozambican forces with the support of the USA, European and African countries.
“The good young people of this country are in combat right now. They celebrate the anniversary of independence by hitting the enemy hard on the ground,” he said.
On Wednesday last week, SADC heads of state and government approved the mandate for a standby force mission to Mozambique during a summit in Maputo.
The mission, according to a communiqué released after the summit, will be deployed to combat terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado province.
The summit, hosted by President Nyusi, urged the member states, in collaboration with humanitarian agencies, to continue providing support to the people affected by the terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado, including the internally displaced persons.
Mozambique is facing an insurgency in the northern province which borders Tanzania. The region has a population of 1.8 million people spread across 16 districts.
The attacks began in October 2017 on police stations in Mocimboa da Praia District, then spread to other districts in the northern part of Cabo Delgado, notably in Macomia, Palma and Nangade.
Islamic State-linked militants launched attacks on the north eastern coastal town of Palma on March 24, ransacked buildings and beheaded civilians.
Known locally as Al-Shabaab — but with no relation to the Somali-based terror group by the same name — the militants in Cabo Delgado have launched a series of brazen raids on towns and villages in an apparent bid to establish an Islamic caliphate.