Civilians beheaded in Mozambique reign of terror


Mozambique military

from ARMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
Mozambique Bureau
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – MORE civilians have been beheaded, soldiers killed and locals kidnapped as Islamist insurgents run rampant in northern Mozambique since the beginning of the year.

The latest round of murders have pushed the death toll to nearly 5 000 since the violent campaign by the Islamic State (ISIS)-affiliated Ansar al-Sunna groupings since late 2017.

Cabo Delgado province is the epicentre of the insurgency.

The first attack documented by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) was on January 28 when insurgents beheaded a man in the fields in the Metuge area.

The insurgents claimed credit for capturing and killing a man in the area.

Another civilian was beheaded and three men were kidnapped.

Two men were also reportedly tortured for professing their Christianity.

In Mecufi, insurgents ambushed two vehicles carrying troops from the Local Force and the Mozambican Armed Defense Forces troops near the village of Nahavara on January 30, killing eight officers.

Insurgents also attacked the nearby village of Makwaya, kidnapping an unspecified number of people and burning houses.

The International Organisation of Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix reported that 1 460 people in Mecufi were displaced between January 22 and February 2.

Meanwhile, insurgents remained active in Macomia district in central Cabo Delgado where two people were reportedly killed and another kidnapped on February 1.

One of the victims was reportedly beheaded.

IOM reports that between December 22 and February 12, a series of sporadic attacks by the non-state armed groups triggered the cumulative displacement of 14 072 individuals or 3 666 families.

At the just-concluded African Union Summit, the issue of terrorism was among several that topped the agenda.

At the sidelines of the summit in Ethiopia, President Filipe Nyuso of Mozambique held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan, and Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, as well as Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, on the counter-terrorism partnership framework in Cabo Delgado.

“The spread of terrorism in Africa, coupled with other multifaceted conflicts, is a phenomenon of concern to us all, as we know its potential in aggravating the fragility of countries and peoples,” Nyusi said.

Local troops, the Southern African Development Community Mission (SAMIM) and troops from Rwanda have had mixed success in combating terror.

– CAJ News

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