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Mozambique and Tanzania reaffirmed their alignment on combating illegal immigration, piracy, natural resource depletion and other crimes at a bilateral meeting in Pemba on Sunday, which also addressed the attacks in Mocímboa da Praia, Cabo Delgado, by armed men with links to Islamic extremism.
The bilateral meeting between defense ministers of Mozambique and the United Republic of Tanzania, respectively Atanásio Salvador M’tumuke and Hussein Aly Hassane Mwinyi, also drew upon police, army and security service experts.
The meeting aimed to share information on the political, economic and social situation of both countries and to define strategies for preventing and combating cross-border crime, immigration, illegal exploitation and protection of natural resources.
At the end of the meeting, Atanásio Salvador M’tumuke told the press that the Pemba meeting had taken place within the framework of excellent relations of friendship, solidarity and good neighbourliness between Mozambique and Tanzania, and that the meeting constituted the realization of the decisions taken on 14 December 2017 by presidents Filipe Nyusi and John Magufuli in the neighboring city of Dodoma.
“We discussed everything to do with security in both countries, from illegal migration, piracy, trade, plundering of natural resources, everything that affects the lives of the two countries,” the Mozambican Minister of Defense said.
Asked whether the two sides had addressed the movement of armed men with Islamic links who had terrorised the districts of Mocímboa da Praia and Palma, M’tumuke said that, as it had to do with security, it had indeed been discussed, but offered no further details.
Hussein Mwinyi also described the meeting as fruitful.
“The meeting was very fruitful. As you know, there are new challenges such as terrorism, cross-border crime, piracy, and so on. From now on, our countries will cooperate in combating these ills. Necessary measures must be taken against Tanzanian criminals here in Mozambique, including the armed men who terrorized Mocímboa da Praia,” he said.
On October 5, 2017, a group of men armed with Islamic links simultaneously attacked three Mozambique police positions in the Mocímboa da Praia district, killing police and civilians. The military situation in the area has remained tense, with the individuals concerned continuing to circulate and cause casualties.
Besides Mozambicans, the group is said to include Tanzanian, Somalian and Sudanese nationals.
A statement from the Ministry of National Defense distributed after the meeting says that the delegations had determined that the measures evaluated at the meeting and the resulting programme of actions would be discussed at a meeting of the Permanent Joint Commission on Defense and Security to be held in Tanzania at a date to be agreed.Source: O País
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