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Picture: Presidência da República de Moçambique
The British government said on Friday it was willing to help Mozambique combat the armed groups that have carried out attacks on isolated villages in the north of the country, according to the Mozambican presidency website.
Speaking during a meeting with President Nyusi, who was in Britain on Friday, Special Envoy of the British Prime Minister, Timothy Paul Loughton, said that his government was willing to support Mozambique in combating these groups, which had carried out attacks in remote parts of Cabo Delgado province since October of last year.
According to the presidency, Timothy Paul Loughton “highlighted and praised the role of the Mozambican president in the struggle to achieve effective and lasting peace and in creating an environment conducive to investment”.
“It was also agreed that concrete programmes for the materialisation of the desires expressed be drawn up by the competent entities of the two countries,” the document reads.
Violence in Cabo Delgado has been in the public eye since an armed attack on police in Mocimboa da Praia in October 2017, in which two agents were killed by a group from a local mosque preaching insurgency against the state, whose presence had been a source of friction with residents for at least two years.
Similar patterns of conflict and recruitment promoted by foreign Muslims were reported in other mosques in the region during the same period.
Analysts interviewed by Lusa are divided as to the reason behind for these attacks between those who say it is linked to trafficking by organised crime in heroin, rubies, ivory and other products that pass through Cabo Delgado or to terrorism.
Among suggested causes are a popular revulsion caused by extreme poverty, old territorial disputes between ethnic groups or even political manipulation aimed at destabilising Mozambique at a time when oil companies are invest in the extraction of natural gas in Cabo Delgado.
The attacks, which have already caused nearly 100 deaths, have always occurred in remote areas (with the exception of the initial attack on Mocímboa da Praia) and well away from any infrastructure belonging to the oil companies preparing to exploit natural gas on the Afungi peninsula in the district of Palma.
Since the end of 2017, Mozambican and Tanzanian authorities have announced the arrest of numerous suspects in connection with this wave of violence, and a trial involving 200 defendants is being held in Pemba, the provincial capital of Cabo Delgado.
In addition to supporting government actions to hold the perpetrators responsible for the attacks in Cabo Delgado, the United Kingdom has expressed its intention to strengthen cooperation with Mozambique in agriculture, energy, mining and tourism, as well as education and the business sector.
President Nyusi made a stop-over in the UK on his way back from Norway and met the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Mozambique and DR Congo MP Timothy Loughton and the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Lord Ahmad Wimbledon.
Source: Lusa / presidencia.gov.mz
Honoured to meet close #Commonwealth partner, Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi @FNyusi today, to boost UK ?? Mozambique ?? relations, strengthen security collaboration & mutual prosperity. Conveyed best wishes from PM @theresa_may pic.twitter.com/WM2Gu9fYzz
— Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (@tariqahmadbt) November 16, 2018