Mozambique: About 300 families return to live in at-risk areas in Zambezia
in file CoM
Mozambican Defence Minister Atanásio Mtumuke said the armed attacks in remote areas of the province of Cabo Delgado are being carried out by “unemployed youths”.
“Who are the evildoers? They are young people who are being cheated because of unemployment,” Mtumuke said, quoted on Mozambican private television channel STV.
The official denigrated the attacks which, according to official figures, have already killed about 100 people since October 2017.
“These evildoers activities began in October, and since they started, state institutions have been functioning normally,” Mtumuke said.
“[The authors] are young people who do not understand the Quran. There is no Quran that says people should be killed,” he added.
The latest known attack occurred Sunday at the administrative post in Mpundanhar, in Cabo Delgado, when an armed group intercepted an open van carrying passengers on a road linking Palma and Mpundanhar.
After firing on the truck to stop the vehicle, the group forced the passengers down, and moments later attacked them using machetes and other blunt instruments, explained different sources heard by Lusa.
Seven people were killed and seven others were injured in the wake of this attack.
The wave of violence in that area began with an armed attack on police stations in Mocimboa da Praia in October 2017.
Since Mocimboa da Praia, the attacks have always occurred far from asphalt roads and well away from the infrastructure of petroleum companies exploiting natural gas in the Afungi peninsula in Palma.
According to official figures, about 100 people, including residents, alleged assailants and elements of the security forces, have died since the wave of violence began.
Last week, the Mozambican Public Prosecutor’s Office added five more names to the list of about 200 people accused of carrying out the armed attacks in Cabo Delgado.
The December 24 indictment names South African businessman Andre Hanekom, 60, as “financier, logistical and coordinator of the attacks”, attributing to him the aim of “creating instability and preventing the exploitation of natural gas in the province” of Cabo Delgado, about 2,000 kilometres north of Maputo near the Tanzanian border.Source: Lusa