Mozambique: SAMIM mission has new mandate - AIM report
Photo: O País
Mozambique’s minister of national defence said on Wednesday that security in the districts affected by terrorism in the province of Cabo Delgado continues to improve steadily, pointing to the return of some communities as proof of stability in the region.
“The situation remains under control” and “we believe that day by day the situation” is evolving “positively”, said Cristóvão Chume.
The minister was speaking at the end of a meeting with India’s deputy national security advisor, Vikram Misri, who is in Maputo to assess cooperation in defence and security and to analyse prospects for increasing relations in this area.
The Mozambican defence minister said that the violence led by armed groups in Cabo Delgado had been contained as a result of joint action by Mozambican government forces, Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
“We are in a better situation than in days gone by,” he stressed.
The return of some communities to the areas that were previously in the hands of the insurgents demonstrates the confidence of the local residents in the restoration of security, he added.
“If they are returning, it is because there is security and since they started returning, we have never had episodes where residents have been withdrawn to safer areas. This means that the security situation is evolving positively,” he said.
Chume said that India had shown interest in training the Mozambican defence and security forces in the fight against terrorism, adding to the help it has been providing to strengthen the African country’s naval capacity to combat violent extremism and crime that occurs in its territorial waters.
“India is seeking to know from us how it can complement the international effort [of training against terrorism] and I think that in the coming days we will give a signal about what can be done,” Chume stressed.
The Asian country, he said, wanted to create synergies with the countries that already support Mozambique in the fight against violent extremism, namely Rwanda, SADC, the European Union (EU) and the United States.
The national defence minister noted that India had already offered “some” vessels and training.
India’s deputy national security adviser pointed to Mozambique as a “strategic partner” in cooperation against crime in the Indian Ocean because of the two countries’ belonging to this maritime area.
“Mozambique has a long history of relations with India and in recent years defence cooperation has become an important pillar of our relations,” said Misri.
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 support from Rwanda and SADC, has allowed areas where there was a rebel presence to recover.
Accompanied Dy. NSA @vikrammisri to Tanzania where he held wide ranging discussions on political & security issues with Foreign Minister of Tanzania H.E. @Amb_Mulamula, Defence Minister Dr. S. Tax and leadership of the Tanzanian Defence forces. @IndiainTanzania pic.twitter.com/RMwFtpjqk1
— Puneet Roy Kundal (@prkundal) May 2, 2022
Dy NSA @VikramMisri met Chief of Staff, TPDF Lt Gen Mathew E Mkingule; India is a major partner of TPDF in several sectors esp in training & capacity building #IndiaTanzania pic.twitter.com/2hEnj83oRJ
— India in Tanzania (@IndiainTanzania) May 2, 2022