Seventeen arrested over riots in Manhiça, EN1 in southern Mozambique
Palma. File photo: VOA
With the beheading of ten people over the weekend, a climate of terror and fear has returned to the villages of Palma in Cabo Delgado.
“It is a climate of fear … With each passing day, problems arise and they are the reason why some families (in Monjane) are moving to Palma village,” one Palma resident said.
On Tuesday morning, local residents reported having seen at least five presumed attackers detained.
“The number of attackers in the woods is even greater. This group was trying to cross the sea to the Tanzanian shore,” our interviewee told us.
Police say they have strengthened vigilance in that region.
“These are acts of desperation, which we strongly condemn. What is being done at the moment is to find these individuals to put them in prison, with proper accountability, in full measure,” General Police Command spokesman Inacio Dina said.
Several readings on the causes
Last week, academics João Pereira and Salvador Forquilha released a study on the attacks in the Palma, Mocimboa da Praia and Macomia districts of Cabo Delgado, in which they explain that the main objective is not the creation of an Islamic state in the north of the country.
“The first objective is to create a situation of instability in the region to facilitate the illicit business in which its leaders are involved. The other is, from these illicit businesses, to feed other networks, for example, militias in the Congo, Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania,” Pereira explains.
Pereira also explains that this situation derives from the feeling of marginalisation of people of Muani ethnicity. The Muani, Pereira says, “have always felt superior to the Makonde, but today the situation is reversed – most of their children work in the machambas of the Makonde, and there is silent resentment there”.
Another interpretation is that of Sheik Saide Abibe.
“Initially the group was known as Al Suna Wal Jamal, an Arabic term that can mean adherents of the prophetic tradition and the congregation,” he says.
“In this group’s opinion, local communities were not practicing genuine Islam, which does not accept dialogue with local administrative structures – with anyone, in fact.”
Cabo Delgado is the location of numerous oil and gas mega-projects.Source: Voa Portugues
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