Mozambique: Diplomats unite in condemning aggression against Ukraine - AIM report
Mozambique’s Defence Minister said on Tuesday that the situation in Cabo Delgado, a province hit by an armed insurgency four and a half years ago, is “much more stable,” noting that the “biggest concern” is now the return of the population to their areas of origin, which are now safe.
“In general terms, the situation is much more stable than last month,” or other previous periods of conflict, Cristóvão Chume said.
He was speaking today in Maputo on the sidelines of a meeting with the Malawi Deputy Defence Minister, Harry Mkandawire, who is visiting Mozambique.
According to the Mozambican Defence Minister, the situation in Cabo Delgado is “getting better every day”, with the military occupying the regions where the insurgents were based.
“The epicentre of our operations has moved from Palma and Mocímboa da Praia to Macomia and Nangade,” he said, noting that “cleaning” operations were underway, alluding to the sorting of the population.
“The biggest concern right now is the return of the population,” said Chume, adding that stability has to be created in the area of operations to ensure that the returnees have “the necessary quiet” to “rebuild their homes.
The Malawi delegation arrived in Mozambique on Monday for a visit that is expected to last until Friday, at a time when the country is part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission supporting Mozambican troops in Cabo Delgado.
At the meeting, the leaders discussed bilateral cooperation in the area of defence and the possibility of exchanging inside information to ensure that terrorism does not spread to other countries in the region.
“Any problem that occurs in Mozambique will be a problem for Malawi. ” We need each other,” said Harry Mkandawire, Malawi’s Deputy Defence Minister, “We have been discussing how we can live in peace.”
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. Still, their flight has provoked new attacks in other districts used as a passage or temporary refuge.