1. Concern in Inhambane Over Presence of Suspected Insurgents near SASOL installations

It was reported on evidencias.co.mz on 4 November that a group of 15 individuals is under investigation after being found in the coastal area of Maimelane, Inhassoro district, Inhambane province, where the South African petrochemical company Sasol explores natural gas. However, the Police in Inhambane said they had no information and referred to the spokesman for the National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) at local level, who also said he was not aware of the matter and asked for time to find out from competent authorities. New reports in the south of the country of young suspects from Cabo Delgado are alarming society and the Mozambican authorities, at a time when insurgents are fleeing from Cabo Delgado. The 15 members of the group, who identified themselves in the Maimelane community as fishermen and traders of oysters and other seafood, are mostly from the localities of Olumbe and Milamba, in the district of Palma, but also from Palma Sede and the city of Pemba, having as a leader a citizen of Nampula, known as a merchant.

The group made up of young people aged between 20 and 30, including some under 10 years old, has been in Inhassoro for over a month and was formed from small groups that arrived by land, most of them barefoot or in slippers and no changes of clothes. The discovery of the group consisting of nine men, three women and an equal number of children comes at a time when the authorities are on high alert, fearing that the insurgents are seeking refuge in other provinces, following the offensive by the forces of Defense and Security (FDS) in coordination with Rwanda and SADC forces. The group is composed of Abdala Ali Saide, born in Milamba, district of Palma; Mumino Chafim Momade, from the District of Palma; Issa Muemene Chela, a native of Palma; Zamir Issa Chemuche, a native of Palma; Omar Arlindo Calavete, a native of Nampula; Muimede Sumail, a native of Palma; Bacar Sumail Bacar, born in Pemba City; Issa Abdala Muemede, born in Palma, locality of Olumbe; Salimo Ali Saide, born in Palma Locality of Olumbe and; Go up Issa, a native of Palma, in Olumbe. They were received by Assane Machepucane Nhamire, president of the Mapanzene Community Fisheries Council.

Part of the members of the group are engaged in fishing activities off the coast of Inhassoro using a small boat, which caught the attention of the population of that remote location, which is 35 kilometers from the main village of Inhassoro, district where the South African petrochemical company Sasol has been exploring natural gas for more than two decades.

In complete secrecy, the PRM, SERNIC and the State Information and Security Service (SISE) interrogated that group last week for two days after denunciations from people who suspected the fact that they do not speak any language in the south of the country and having difficulties to communicate in Portuguese.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that in September a group of 57 citizens, believed to be insurgent leaders, flew from Pemba to Maputo, from where they travelled overland to Maxixe, Inhambane province, where it is suspected that they are seeking economic bases and interests. The tickets for this group was paid by a merchant from Macomia who has a business in Maputo. Alongside the exploitation of timber, drug trafficking and precious stones, trade is seen as the main base of financing for the insurgents.

It should be noted that in their modus operandi in that northern province of the country, the insurgents also arrived as civilians, infiltrated the community and later received weapons that entered disguised as common merchandise.

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