1. Terror Group is Planning on Attacking KZN After Mozambique

South Africa is collaborating with the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on an investigation regarding the potential plan for the Islamic State to target South Africa. Last week, four men who are believed to have connections to the terrorist group were arrested in Durban. The men were accused of planting a bomb near Florida Road in Durban and have been associated with a knife attack in a Mosque in Durban previously. Two of the suspects are believed to be associated with the Thulsie twins from Gauteng who were prevented from boarding a flight to Syria to join IS in 2015. The US embassy is yet to comment on the investigation however the KwaZulu-Natal provincial police spokesperson have confirmed the detention of the four men.

2. Concern About Mental health of Displaced Children

CAJ News reports that Save the Children warned that the catastrophe emanated from the grave violations the minors had witnessed, including the murder of their parents. The displaced children are reportedly showing signs of severe mental stress and distress, including loss of appetite, constant crying and losing the will to play. Save the Children warned that these children might not recover unless they urgently received mental health and psycho-social support services.

“The perpetrators of violence in Cabo Delgado are using abhorrent tactics that terrify children,” said Chance Briggs, Save the Children’s Country Director in Mozambique.

“As a parent, it breaks my heart to think of how these kids must be struggling to process the unthinkable. As an organisation that works to protect children, Save the Children is incredibly concerned for their well-being and prospect of recovery. At best, they have been forced to flee from their homes and sense of safety. At worst, they have witnessed horrors no child should see.”

At least 51 children, most of them girls, have been abducted over the past 12 months, although the true number of child abductions is estimated to be far higher. Since September 2020, there have been reports of increased violations against civilians including sexual violence, beheadings and abductions.

3. Situation Update

ACLED reports that Violence broke out in three corners of the Cabo Delgado conflict zone last Friday, with insurgents launching small-scale attacks. In Muidumbe district, a group of about 10 insurgents attacked the village of Namande

in the early afternoon of 2 July. They arrived wearing Mozambican security force uniforms, but quickly opened fire on civilians and local militias. By the time the attack was over and insurgents had withdrawn, seven civilians and three militia members lay dead. Insurgents also burned several homes in the attack.

The Namande attack created particular concern on two fronts. The first arose from the fact that Namande is close to the border of Mueda district, and only 25 kilometers from Mueda town. Civilians in Mueda grew worried on Friday that the Namande attack signalled a larger insurgent offensive on Mueda. No such attacks have taken place, however. The other, more immediate concern is that Namande was one of the three villages in western Muidumbe district where civilians had begun to return after being displaced to Mueda.

Further east, a clash was reported between insurgents and government forces at Diaca, Mocimboa da Praia district. Insurgents reportedly initiated the attack, but were turned back by government troops. Diaca is a strategically important town on the road between Mueda and Mocimboa da Praia town.

The government claimed a major success in defending the villages around Palma. Acting commander of the Afungi theater Francisco Assane told reporters last week that between 21 and 29 June, government forces had killed roughly 150 insurgents in clashes around Palma. He also said his troops had captured 39 insurgents at Monjane, due south of Quitunda, on 27 June. Army commander Cristóvão Chume echoed Assane and claimed that his troops had rescued over 100 civilians being held by insurgents in southeastern Palma district during the last round of fighting.

Displaced civilians landing on Paquitequete beach in Pemba report being detained on the beach for hours — sometimes overnight — as government forces conduct security checks. They are confined to a tent on the beach that is inadequate to protect them from the winter elements, and they often cannot access medical treatment. Among those left on the beach without treatment are people suffering from malaria, people who have recently given birth, and people suffering from mental illness. As of 6 July, no government medical team had been on the beach in days.

4. Zimbabwe’s Fifth Brigade to be Deployed in Cabo Delgado?

Zimbabwean media report that the Kwekwe-based 5 Brigade is preparing to deploy to Mozambique. 5 Brigade is Zimbabwe’s standby force, and so would be the first Zimbabwean troops to deploy in any intervention in which Zimbabwe is involved. The 5 Brigade is notorious – trained by North Korea, they were responsible for the “Gukurahundi” – the “ethnic cleansing” under Mugabe’s presidency in the late 1980’s, in which tens of thousands of Ndebeles in Matabeleland Province were killed.

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