1. Allegations of Mozambican Chief of Police Covering Up Collusion Between Senior Police/Army Officers and Insurgents

On Thursday 18 August, four South Africans were arrested at the Ressano Garcia border post while attempting to bring 32 semi-automatic weapons into Mozambique, claiming that the weapons were destined for use by a security company. They were not in possession of the required permits. The Chief of Police, Bernardino Rafael, subsequently said that no wrong had been committed, resulting in speculation that the Chief of Police was trying to cover up the matter, and that the matter provided evidence of collusion between senior rmy and police officers, and the insurgents.

The Mozambican newspaper Evidencias reported the following on 6 September 2022:

PRM’s general commander may be covering up illegalities in the Cabo Delgado war with authorizationof weapons for security companies. Weapons for security companies must not exceed 7.65 mm. The origin and target of 32 shotgun-type firearms caliber 12 mm, seized in Ressano Garcia border between Mozambique and South Africa still remains to be explained. . The same ones were destined for Cabo Delgado, supposedly imported by a private security company. There is controversy between the National Investigation Service Criminal (SERNIC) and the General Command of the Police of Republic of Mozambique (PRM). According to Article 20 of Decree 26/90 of 29 November, private security guards can only carry weapons with three specifications namely:

a) Semi-automatic pistols caliber not exceeding 7.65 mm, whose barrel does not exceed 7.5 cm

b) Revolvers less than 9 caliber mm, the barrel of which does not exceed 10 cm

c) Semi-automatic shotguns smooth-bore and non-superior gauge at 7.65 mm.

Security guards can only carry arms in their defense when on duty as a bodyguard, protection of banks or escort vehicles, transport of funds and valuables.

But the weapons seized in Ressano Garcia are machine guns of war and destined for Cabo Delgado. The import and circulation of firearms of any kind requires authorization from the Ministry of the Interior, to which is subordinated the General Command of the PRM and SERNIC. But the latter institution declared after the arrest that the alleged security company importer did not present documents that show compliance, much fewer authorizations, considering that the weapons were of a larger caliber than allowed by law. After ignoring the law, the commander-in-chief of PRM, Bernardino Rafael, rose to defend the security company. He may be covering up illegalities in Cabo Delgado of a private company involved in the import of weapons. Rafael alleged that the importation was in order, subjected to screening by comparing the license with the imported weapons.

The divergence between the PRM and SERNIC is generating mistrust among Mozambicans. Rafael asked that the population keep trusting the police, and went as far as to say that the matter should have been “managed” confidentially, internally at the level of the Ministry, and not coming in public.

Not infrequently, military and police officers engaged on the front line, report weak morals, due to the distrust of high-ranking army and police officers who are believed to provide strategic information to the insurgents and facilitation their logistics. It was for this reason that the mercenaries of the Wagner Group Cabo Delgado, after noticing between some high-ranking officers and the insurgents.

The private security business in Mozambique is dominated by generals of the police and the army, with ties to the ruling party. It has been suggested that the commander-in-chief of the PRM has been pressured to play down the scandal of the 32 weapons seized. The South African driver who brought the shipment to Mozambique says that it was not the first time to cross the border carrying weapons bound for Cabo Delgado.


2. EU Diplomacy Chief Visits Mozambique


The Head of Diplomacy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, was on a two-day visit to Mozambique, where he met with President Filipe Nyusi and delivered non-war equipment to support combat in Cabo Delgado. He also met with Foreign Minister Verónica Macamo today. On Friday (09.09), Borrell visited the European Union Military Training Mission (EUTM Mozambique) at the Katembe training camp to witness the delivery of equipment financed by the European Peace Mechanism. The reinforcement of equipment for the troops that the EU is training has been a request made by the Mozambican head of state, Filipe Nyusi, and includes non-war material such as uniforms and military logistics support material on the ground.

Borrell also participated in the ceremony of change of command of EUTM Mozambique: Brigadier General Lemos Pires gives way to another Portuguese, Martins de Brito. The mission supports the training of rapid reaction units of the Armed Forces of Defense of Mozambique and has 119 members from 12 countries. Portugal takes command of the mission and is the country with the largest contingent, currently 68 military personnel from the three branches of the armed forces and GNR.

In addition to Cabo Delgado, Borrel discussed other topics, such as the implications of the war in Ukraine, including the impact on food security and the global geopolitical situation.


3. Nampula Province: Displaced Fleeing Eráti District ‘Multiply’


The Administrator of the District of Eráti, in theprovince of Nampula, the scene of a recent attack, says that people fleeing From Kútua, on the southern bank of the Lúrio River, bordering Cabo Delgado, continue to multiply.

“The movement of displaced people continues. It is multiplying, we are in a crisis situation,” said Manuel Manusso. The administrator said people are seeking refuge in the district’s village of Namapa, where they are welcomed by family members, local leaders and the general population. He did not specify the number of people who left Kútua, the village targeted, noting that the communities are “disturbed”. Eráti’s administrator noted that the district had already taken in displaced persons forced to flee Cabo Delgado province since the start of armed attacks in October 2017. “We have been receiving this wave of displaced people, because some have been here for two or three years,” Manuel Manusso said.

Police spokesman in Nampula, Zacarias Nacute, told Lusa on Monday that the attack on Eráti may have been carried out by the same armed groups that terrorize Cabo Delgado. “There is the possibility of a terrorist attack carried out by this group of individuals who are in Cabo Delgado province,” Nacute said.

There are about 800,000 internally displaced people due to the conflict, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and about 4,000 deaths, according to the conflict registration project ACLED. It is estimated that half of the affected population are children and young people up to 20 years, a reflection of the country’s age pyramid.


4. South African Catholic Bishops In Solidarity With Church in Northern Mozambique


Following the killing of Sr Maria De Coppi in Chipene, Nampula Province, the South African Bishops issued a letter of solidarity. See below:


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