Mozambique: Election to UN Security Council ‘historic moment’ – UN chief’s envoy
Photo: O País
The President of the Republic, Filipe Nyusi, was in Ancuabe yesterday, where he noted the normal functioning of institutions and the daily life of populations in areas recently targeted by terrorist attacks. The Head of State comforted the populations and said that the Joint Military Force is pursuing the terrorists to restore tranquillity in the region.
“They are fleeing intense fire. Our forces and those of our friends are intensifying the attacks. They (the terrorists) are hungry. They knew that you are there producing and that you have food. They came to get food to continue. We know that there are some young people who left from here, from Mocímboa da Praia, Palma and Nampula, who are with them. They want to come back, but they are afraid,” said Filipe Nyusi, later guaranteeing that “we are going to ask them to come and stay with their families, instead of staying in the bush and making a fuss”.
Filipe Nyusi says that the Defence and Security Forces and SAMIM and Rwanda “will continue to pursue them, because now they are fleeing to Ancuabe and Meluco, and frightening people on the way just to make it look like they exist”.
On Wednesday, the president met high-ranking members of the Mozambican army and commanders of the SADC and Rwandan contingents supporting them in the fight against terrorism.
According to a note from the Presidency of the Republic, the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence and Security Forces wanted to find out about the course of operations in the Northern Operational Theatre.
It will be recalled that the heads of state of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries decided, in January of this year, in Lilongwe, Malawi, to extend the presence of troops in Mozambique to support the Mozambican government’s fight against terrorism in Cabo Delgado.
These forces, known as SAMIM, went into action between August and October of last year, after which they extended their mission by three months.
Rwandan troops arrived in the country in July last year to join the Defence and Security Forces in fighting the insurgency.
Nyusi calls for solidarity with victims of terrorism
The President of the Republic yesterday called for vigilance and solidarity with the victims of terrorism.
Speaking on the 62nd anniversary of the Mueda Massacre, Nyusi recalled that the incident’s anniversary comes at a time in which the attacks that affect the province of Cabo Delgado have caused the death of more than 2,000 people.
“Today (June 16), we celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the Mueda Massacre, in a context in which Cabo Delgado province is suffering the horrors of terrorism that has claimed more than 2,000 lives and forced more than 850,000 people to live far from their homes as displaced persons. While our brave forces continue to fight the enemy, we reiterate our call for vigilance and our solidarity with the victims of terrorism,” the Head of State’s message reads.
Filipe Nyusi recalled that, far from incapacitating Mozambicans, the Mueda Massacre served to reinforce the unity of a people.
“Far from silencing the centuries-old dream of Mozambicans for their freedom, the Mueda Massacre unleashed the fury of a people and became an inexorable flame of unity that made nationalists from all over the country converge in a single Liberation Front that led the epic liberation struggle until the collapse of colonial fascism, culminating with the proclamation of national independence on June 25, 1975,” the President of the Republic.
Going back in time, the Head of State recalled that the population was, at the time, expecting to hear about the scope of national independence, not least because some neighbouring countries had already freed themselves from the colonial yoke.
“On June 16, 1960, on a Thursday like today, the population of the Mueda plateau went to the village to participate in a popular meeting that would be led by the governor of the then district of Cabo Delgado. The expectation of the population was that, at that meeting, the possibility of granting independence to the natives would be addressed, as was already happening in some African countries, including neighbouring Tanzania. This peaceful and genuine request from the population was answered by a hail of colonial troops’ murderous bullets, which resulted in the death of hundreds of Mozambicans,” the president recalled.
June 16th was the National Currency Day, the Metical, and the Day of the African Child, established by the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU). The Head of State did not fail to congratulate the minors who had suffered under the Apartheid regime in South Africa.
“It was due to the historical dimension of the Mueda Massacre that the Mozambican government consecrated June 16 as the National Currency Day, the Metical, in order to immortalise the dream of the Mueda martyrs. And because the 16th of June also celebrates the “Day of the African Child”, established in 1991 by the OAU, in honour of the black children barbarously murdered by the Apartheid regime in Soweto, South Africa, we address a word of affection to all the children of our continent, appealing to all the actors to contribute to the consolidation of peace and harmony, allowing the African child to grow up with hope and have a bright future. Thank you ever so much to the martyrs of Mueda, and happy African Children’s Day,” President Nyusi said.
By Aristides Cavele