1. World Food program woes bode ill for Mozambique

 

The World Food Program said Monday that without an urgent injection of $450 million it will not be able to

maintain emergency food assistance this year in Syria, including to people impacted by the recent

earthquake. “Without sufficient resources, we will have to do cuts,” said Ross Smith, WFP Deputy Country

Director for Syria. “We will have to cut significantly the number of people we provide support to, and that’s

going to come on top of an earthquake crisis and an economic crisis.” He told reporters in a video briefing

from Damascus that the food agency projects they will have to cut 50 -60% of the 5.5 million Syrians they

assist monthly if they are not assured of the funds within the next two to three months.

The announcement has raised fears in Mozambique. The war in Syria and the recent earthquake have

placed the country at the top of the list of international concern. If WFP is unable to raise the funds to

provide humanitarian assistance in Syria, it will almost certainly not be able to do so in Mozambique.

Cash-Strapped WFP: Millions of Syrians May Lose Food Aid (voanews.com)

 


 

2. Mozambique and SA discuss ongoing attacks on Mozambican vehicles in KZN

 

O País Mozambique and South Africa are meeting in Maputo to find solutions to road safety on the Maputo-South Africa corridor, which remains tense, with passenger transport to Durban interrupted. Transport operators are demanding concrete measures before resuming activity. In the current wave of vehicle-burning in South Africa, thirteen vehicles with Mozambican license plates have already been set on fire, ten belonging to private individuals and three carrying passengers. Luciano Muiambo, commonly known as ‘Majugar’, was one of the first to lose his bus on the Durban Maputo route and speaks of enormous damage. “Great damage. It suffices to say that I started working with that [burned] vehicle last December, and a new bus I bought in December only made three trips. I lost four-and-a-half million rands there. At the moment, we are at a standstill. The South Africans are operating on their own, while our government says nothing,” he complains. President of the International Transport Association, Frederico Ambrósio also had a vehicle burned, on February 11th. “It is irreparable damage. Even if one day I get money and buy another vehicle, it is not possible to repair it. But then again, it’s an accident at work, it happens,” Ambrósio reasoned. The Ministry of Transport and Communications, through the national director of Transport and Security, Fernando Ouana, says that insecurity is outside Mozambique’s control, and that it is up to the South Africans to guarantee the normal functioning of the corridors. “We are doing our part and we also demand that the South African government does its. For our part, we have our safe corridors; I can confirm that, and the South African side must also keep the corridors safe,” Ouana said. A representative of the South African Police Emergency Response Services says that work is underway at several levels to solve the problem. “We are involving the entire target audience, and are in the process of establishing identification on main roads. The idea is to raise visibility, and we are sure that we will reduce the incident rates that have been seen,” the source said. The two-day bilateral meeting of the Joint Committee and Mozambique–South Africa route management groups is taking place in Maputo, with the aim of identifying answers to the various problems besetting the sector recently. https://clubofmozambique.com/news/mozambique-and-south-africa-discuss-transport-security-234506/ 3. Dune mining commences in Inhambane

 

 


 

3. Cabo Delgado update

 

Last week saw just a handful of scattered incidents across Cabo Delgado. An insurgent presence remains in

the north of Montepuez district as a bus was attacked on the R698 as it drove through Nicocue village on

21 February. The bus was hired by a mining company, and all the passengers managed to escape

unharmed, but the bus was set on fire, a picture of which was published on Islamic State (IS) social media.

Insurgents also entered the village of Nicocue, with one source reporting that they offered residents

money to join their ranks. Another source claimed that some in surgents bought food from the villagers

while others looted.

 

Insurgent activity in Montepuez continues to cause great displacement. International Organization for

Migration (IOM) data show that 92% of all displaced from 15 to 21 February 2023 were from Montepuez.

The vast majority of those, 2,793, remained in Montepuez district. When combined with displacement data

from earlier in the month, IOM has recorded 11,130 people displaced within the district, due to attacks, or

fear of attacks in February.

 

The next day, the Rwanda Defence Force clashed with insurgents in the village of Malinde, just under 10

km from Mocímboa da Praia town. It is believed the insurgents were there to replenish food supplies,

possibly with the aid of local collaborators, but they were reported to the security forces by a fishe rman.

The Rwandans promptly launched an assault, reportedly with helicopters, and captured at least seven

insurgents and killed several others.

 

On 25 February, insurgents killed a man and kidnapped his wife near Muambula village in Muidumbe, just

five days after Minister for National Defense Cristóvão Chume visited the district. Five armed men accosted

the couple on their way to their fields. When the village heard of the incident, many fled into the woods.

During Chume’s visit, District Administrator Saide Aly Chabane declared that Muidumbe was free of

“terrorists,” according to a local source.

 


 

4. Rwandan state-associated security company opens

 

Zitamar News reported last week that a recently registered security company, ISCO, is controlled by

Macefield Ventures, a company closely associated with the Rwandan state. Zitamar News reports that

Macefield Ventures also owns at least two construction companies and one mining company in

Mozambique, and that it has itself set up a local branch, Macefield Ventures Mozambique. That company

is led by Desire Ngabonziza, who recently transitioned from his role as the global head of ISCO, which

alongside Mozambique has operations in at least two other countries, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. A source

told Zitamar News that ISCO was likely to bid for a contract to provide security to the TotalEnergies-led

liquefied natural gas project in Palma district.

 


 

5. Drug trafficking in Cabo Delgado

 

Cesar Guedes, head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Mozambique highlighted the cooperation with the Mozambican authorities in the successful seizure of large amounts of drugs in Mozambique. At the end of January this year, the French navy frigate learned 417kg of methamphetamine and 27kg of heroin in a Dhow (craft wooden boat) in the Mozambique channel, the drug valued at over US$40 million. The Dhow crew were arrested and taken to the French island of Réunion.

All Pakistani crew members collaborated with French authorities and Interpol which led to the apprehension of a 37-year-old man with 61kg of methamphetamine and 5kg of heroin when unloading the drug on the coast of Nacala Porto district in Nampula province. 440kg of heroin in a private residence in Quelimane in Zambezia province. 103kg of heroin and methamphetamine in Murumpula District in Nampula province.

From the same collaboration, (SERNIC) arrested Minoj H. Yacub with 180 kilos of ephedrine, a substance that would be destined for the manufacture of drugs. Minoj H. Yacub has investments in the fuel and catering business. Information we obtained from the hotel restaurant Express belonging to the Osman Yacub family in the city of Pemba is operated by Minoj H.Yacub. He held the position of counsellor in the municipality of Pemba. He was arrested in flagrante delicto but released on bail worth one million meticais by the Nampula court under the strange circumstances. The ephedrine, according to information, was to supply the drug factory in the locality of Metoro in one of the warehouses belonging to the brother of Minoj H. Yacub named Sadique H. Yacub, who is a customs officer in Mozambique and was elected President of the municipality of Pemba in the 1990s. from 2006. According to the information shortly after the authorities arrested Minoj H. Yacub the factory was dismantled by members of the cartel and the equipment and drugs sent to Nacala Porto for the warehouse of a well-known businessman from Nacala Porto. The large amount of drugs that were in the Yacub family warehouse in Pemba were transported in trucks to the city of Maputo.

25kg of pure Cocaine was also seized in a house belonging to Zicar Osman Yacub on Wimbi beach in Pemba. According to the information, 150kg of cocaine were unloaded from a boat coming from Brazil, of which 125kg had already been handed over to members of the cartel to transport the drug to South Africa via Maputo. In this operation, three people were arrested, one of whom was the owner of the boat that unloaded 150kg of cocaine on Murrebue beach. The vessel’s owner was killed the same night after testifying before authorities inside the prison in the city of Pemba. He was a key witness to incriminate businessman Zicar Osman Yacub.

 

 

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