1. Surge In Attacks in Cabo Delgado Causes New Forced Displacements

The last two weeks have seen a surge in the number of attacks on civilians in Cabo Delgado. The news agency AIS reported the following on 23 February 2022 ( MOÇAMBIQUE: “Estão todos apavorados”, relata missionário na sequência de ataques terroristas a aldeias em Cabo Delgado (fundacao-ais.pt) ): “There have been attacks in villages, the situation is not good and everyone is terrified.” The account is from a Catholic Church missionary after attacks in several villages in the far north of Cabo Delgado province. The attacks began over the weekend and lasted until yesterday afternoon, causing more than a dozen deaths and the destruction of several homes.

Asking not to be identified, for security reasons, the missionary says that there are also reports of fighting between terrorists and military forces present in the Nangade region, which is located very close to the border with Tanzania.

According to available data, the “insurgents” – as the terrorists are known locally – attacked the villages of Kankhomba, Janguane, Mambo Bado and Muhia on Sunday, and yesterday, Tuesday, 22 February, the villages of Milola, Chianga , Lutona, Napuatakala. As a result of these attacks, populations have fled and have sought shelter in the village of Nangade, which, given its size, apparently guarantees some security.

The missionary who spoke with the AIS Foundation says that it is not yet possible to determine the exact number of people who will have died as a result of the attacks, but he speaks of a scenario of great destruction that justifies the fear that has settled among the populations. “I don’t have the exact number of dead, for now nobody knows, but there were villages where they burned houses and they were large, populated villages, places where a lot of ‘machamba’ is made… and in fact they went through and burned a lot of houses ”, said the missionary on the phone to the AIS Foundation in Lisbon.

Simultaneously with the attacks attributed to the insurgents, there was a response from Mozambican military forces, which are carrying out several operations throughout Cabo Delgado province with the support of Rwandan army units and the SADC forces. In these operations, according to information released by the Mozambican Defense Forces, seven insurgents were shot and 16 hiding places they had in the bush were dismantled, as well as a communications base. These military operations have also taken place in recent days in the district of Palma, also located in the border region with Tanzania.

The Catholic Church missionary confirms to the AIS Foundation an atmosphere of uproar in the Nangade area. “The headquarters [village] is very agitated because around there are movements of people from the insurgents and the military fighting. These days, everything is very busy not only in Nangade but also in the surrounding villages.”

At the beginning of February, the AIS Foundation was already aware of a situation of “very strong tension” in the village of Macomia, also located in Cabo Delgado province, where, according to a religious, “many villages” had been attacked, verifying There was also “the systematic abduction of people, mainly women and mothers with their own children”, which was contributing to the worsening of the feeling of insecurity among the local populations.

The AIS Foundation’s assistance has materialized in particular in pastoral care and psychosocial support projects, but also in the supply of materials for the construction of dozens of houses, community centers and also the purchase of vehicles for missionaries who work with the centers of resettlement housing families who fled the war.

Further information received by DHPI indicate that five villages were completely burned down in the Nangade District on the evening of 20 February.

And in Pemba, on 21 February 2022, the CARE office was ‘assaulted’ in the early hours of the morning by a group reported to be between 7 and 8 men armed with machete’s. One guard was hurt (taken to hospital and released after treatment). Two of the annex offices and the main office were entered and several valuable items were stolen. Laptops, a desktop, tablets and a satphone.

Following these attacks, there has been a new population flight to the village of Nangade, district office, in search of security. “Here in the village everything is full of people, while others are passing to Mueda or Pemba,” added one of the sources.

2. Mozambique Strengthens Collaboration With France

Mozambique will cooperate with France in the area of maritime security, announced President Nyusi. Speaking at a press conference at the sixth European Union-African Union summit, which ended last Friday, February 19, 2021, in the Belgian capital, Brussels, Filipe Nyusi said that to the effect, an agreement between the two governments will shortly be signed.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the Mozambican Head of State met with Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, to improve details on the matter.

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