Mozambique reinforces health protocol against COVID-19 at border crossings with South Africa
Photo: Twitter / @mlfornara
Mozambican social activist Graça Machel said on Monday that there is “resistance in recognising the internal causes” of the war in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, proposing a study on the internal dimension of the conflict.
“We must fight to study and know better the internal causes. I know that there is a lot of resistance in recognising that there are internal causes that facilitate the penetration of terrorists into the communities, there is resistance in recognising this, but it is a fact,” stressed Graça Machel.
Machel was speaking during an event of the foundation for community development (FDC), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) of which she is president.
The activist expressed particular concern over the situation of children recruited by the armed groups that carry out attacks in Cabo Delgado, warning that this social stratum is being intoxicated with extremist ideologies.
Graça Machel defended a specific treatment for children who have been “used by terrorists”.
” We all know that the children, many of them, are being indoctrinated, they are being radicalised, their minds are being worked on to grow up with hatred for state institutions”, Graça Machel stressed.
She drew attention to the danger of the humanitarian drama in the province being translated only into numbers, stripped of their human facet.
Several studies and internal and international reports have pointed to poverty, unemployment, social and economic marginalisation as part of the causes that make young people vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups in Cabo Delgado.
The Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, has several times dismissed the link between “terrorism” and poverty, noting that there are several pockets of poverty in various parts of the country, but there are no episodes of armed insurgency.
Despite this narrative, the fact is that the government has created the northern development agency (ADIN) to operationalise social and economic development projects in the three provinces of the northern region of Mozambique, including Cabo Delgado.
Cabo Delgado province is rich in natural gas but has been terrorised since 2017 by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.
There are 784,000 internally displaced people due to the conflict, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and around 4,000 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project.
Since July 2021, an offensive by government troops with Rwandan support later joined by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has allowed areas where there was a rebel presence to recover, but their flight has provoked new attacks in other districts used as passage or temporary refuge.
— Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace & Security (@DallaireInst) April 11, 2022
Truly grateful to be part of this team effort positioning child protection at the centre of the agenda and response in #CaboDelgado. As Graça Machel said 25 years ago: ‘The impact of conflict on children is everyone’s responsibility, and it must be everyone’s concern’ !!! https://t.co/6axokr8F8c pic.twitter.com/Vp13iXPKg4
— Katarina Johansson (@J77Katarina) April 11, 2022
Together with #Mozambique’s Ministry of Defence & @DallaireInst, UNICEF participated in the #RedHandDay event, a day to draw attention to the recruitment & use of children by armed groups & to call for action to prevent child recruitment and support children affected by it. pic.twitter.com/FoWsXbq3ZK
— UNICEF Moçambique (@UNICEF_Moz) April 11, 2022
So happy to meet with Mme Graça Machel today – a true champion of children and an indefatigable advocate for the prevention of child recruitment and use. #RedHandDay @G_MachelTrust pic.twitter.com/fXEmItv0qL
— Maria Luisa Fornara (@mlfornara) April 11, 2022