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File photo / "It is not always good to speak out in such a situation. They are human; they listen to us, and when they realise what is being prepared, they adapt. So, for the sake of the actions in preparation, it is prudent to remain calm and patient," he said.
Interior Minister Basilio Monteiro calls for prudence in approaching attacks on civilian and military targets in Mocímboa da Praia, Nangade and Palma in Cabo Delgado, and said the matter was being treated with the proper caution by the Defence and Security Forces (FDS).
Speaking outside the reception that President Filipe Nyusi held for the Maputodiplomatic corps this week, Basilio Monteiro said that there is still not enough evidence to consider the attacks as terrorist, but that they remained so far of a criminal nature.
The minister said that there was still no justification to label the group terrorist because insufficient evidence has been found to warrant such labelling, but he acknowledged that they did perform horrific acts that terrorised the local population.
He said that the population’s fear stemmed from the fact that, in each strike, the group had burned four, five or six houses, tempting people to call them terrorists.
“I feel it would be good and prudent to face these criminal manifestations coldly. What happened are not attacks in the technical sense of the word. Robberies and murders faced anyone who resisted the group, which is on the run and facing food problems,” he said.
He added that the perpetrators of these actions have been recorded stealing kids, flour and other foods, as well as medicines. It was therefore a group that had been reduced to serious but purely criminal acts.
Minister Monteiro also said that, despite this, the FDS were working to provide an adequate response to the threat, but that there was a need for silence on the matter so as not to undo current actions aimed at neutralizing the group.
“It is not always good to speak out in such a situation. They are human; they listen to us, and when they realise what is being prepared, they adapt. So, for the sake of the actions in preparation, it is prudent to remain calm and patient,” he said.
He said that the government, and the Defence and Security Forces in particular, would do their utmost to restore order in the parts of the country affected, and in other areas where the threat of this type of action might exist.
Monteiro reiterated the need for patience and a thoughtful approach to this issue, since work done so far had found no signs of terrorism, and added that the majority of people questioned had already conveyed an idea that it was something else.
Unfortunately, according to the minister, the interviewees also conveyed an idea of the degree of organisation required to commit that type of crime, so much so that, in recent days, no major target has been reached.
“Two hundred and fifty people have been detained. With time and interrogation, some are being returned to freedom to await trial and others are still being brought in. With the new arrests, we get new clues. But I am sure, and you can believe me, that we will soon restore order in the province,” Monteiro promised.Source: Notícias
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