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Mozambique’s Interior Minister Basílio Monteiro announced yesterday that he will deploy Defence and Security Forces units for the camps of the companies involved in gas exploration in Cabo Delgado, in the north of the country.
“We are going to deploy a set of units of the Defense and Security Forces to ensure the protection of all camps and workplaces of the oil companies in Cabo Delgado,” said Basílio Monteiro, speaking to the press in Maputo.
The Mozambican interior minister made the announcement a day after a caravan of US oil company Anadarko was targeted by two related attacks in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, which resulted in one dead and six injured.
Basílio Monteiro assured the objective of the Defence and Security Forces to stop new attacks in those places, adding that in the coming days, complex units of the Defence Forces of Mozambique will start with military operations in the area of oil companies.
“We are convinced that we will consolidate the security environment, not only in the camps but also in the workplaces of these companies and other related ones,” concluded the Mozambican official.
The attacks occurred on Thursday.
The first attack was on a road from Mocimboa da Praia to Afungi in northern Mozambique, approximately 20 km (12.4 miles) from the construction site and involved a convoy in which six workers sustained non-life threatening injuries, the company said.
The second attack resulted in the death of an unidentified worker, who was contracted to a firm that is engaged in building an airstrip for the project, Anadarko said. The firm is the Portuguese Gabriel Couto, for whom Anadarko refers any further clarification on the second attack, Lusa reports.
These are the first known attacks targeting companies involved in gas projects in the Rovuma basin since the outbreak in October 2017 of armed violence in Cabo Delgado.
The wave of violence in Cabo Delgado (2,000 kilometers north of Maputo, in the far north of Mozambique, near Tanzania) erupted after an armed attack on police stations in Mocímboa da Praia by a group from a local mosque that preached insurgency against the state and whose habits motivated friction with residents for two years.
After Mocímboa da Praia, several attacks have occurred that are suspected to be related to the same type of group, always away from the asphalt and outside the zone of implantation of the factories and other infrastructures of the oil companies that are going to explore natural gas.
Oil company Anadarko had already told Lusa that works were underway with “enhanced security” due to the proximity of previous attacks.Source: Lusa / Reuters