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In less than a week, insurgents have attacked six communities in the Quissanga district of Cabo Delgado. Last Saturday, insurgents attacked successively the villages of Nancaramo (locally known as Nagruvala), Cagembe and Namaluco, the latter located less than 20 kilometres from the village of Macomia.
Yesterday, at around 3:00 p.m., they raided the village of Ntuare, about 10 km from the headquarters of the administrative post in Bilibiza (Quissanga), burning almost every house in the village.
The residents of Ntuare are mostly from the smaller villages of Tororo, Tapara and others, their main activity being agriculture and cutting bamboo and stakes for the construction industry.
From Ntuare, the insurgents passed through agricultural fields [machambas] in the village of Ntessa, where they abducted two women working close to the village. The older of the two women was reportedly abandoned, while the younger woman was forced to accompany the insurgents towards the village headquarters of Bilibiza post. Along the way, huts in the 25 de Setembro village were set on fire.
At 5:00 p.m., the insurgents made their foray into Bilibiza. By then, according to “Carta” sources, the village was practically deserted, having been alerted by the previous attack on Ntuare. “We have been in the bush since when they attacked Ntuare. Almost everyone has left the village and is in the bush,” one desperate source said.
In Bilibiza, the insurgents set fire to houses, looted informal shops, and vandalised assets and public infrastructure such as the post office, the health centre, and the local Agrarian Institute, among others. Sources report that the members of the Defence and Security Forces stationed in Bilibiza, offered no resistance, as they were outnumbered by the insurgents.
“The insurgents entered [the village] via the Agrarian Institute and left the same way. That’s where our house is. I don’t know if it escaped, but we saw a lot of fire during the night,” one citizen contacted by ‘Carta’ reported on Thursday morning.
So far, there is still no assessment of fatalities and injuries. By 5:50 a.m. this morning, the people who spent the night in the woods had still not returned to the village.
A School for the Formation of Teachers of the Future (ADPP) and the Agrarian Institute operate in Bilibiza.
The Bilibiza Agrarian Institute, which, according to reports of yesterday’s incursion, suffered considerable damage, had recently been rehabilitated with the help of the Aga Khan Mozambique Foundation. The intervention included rehabilitating and expanding classrooms and dormitories, constructing houses for teaching staff and revising the curriculum to focus on land management, skills development and rural extension.
With about 500 students and 24 teachers, the Instituto Agrário de Bilibiza is one of the oldest technical training institutes in the country.Carta de Moçambique
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