FILE - For Illustration purposes only. [File photo: IGHE]
The Mozambican National Electoral Commission said on Wednesday that conditions are in place for holding elections next year in Mocímboa da Praia, a district that was in the hands of rebels for more than a year.
“We, as a body, are preparing our managers of the electoral process at district level convinced that we will hold local elections in Mocímboa da Praia,” said Alberto José Sabe, a member of the National Electoral Commission, quoted by Radio Mozambique today.
Mocímboa da Praia was where armed groups carried out their first attack on 5 October 2017, and the town was long described as the rebels’ base.
After more than a year in rebel hands, the region was looted, and almost all public and private infrastructure was destroyed, as well as power systems, water, communications and hospitals.
A military offensive by government forces in 2021, with support from Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community, allowed the region to recover, and several initiatives are underway to rebuild infrastructure.
For the CNE member, the return of the population with the gradual stabilisation of the security situation makes room for voting in Mocímboa.
“The National Electoral Commission (CNE), which is in charge of the National Electoral Commission (CNE), is responsible for the elections in Mozambique.
Mozambique will begin a new electoral cycle in 2023, with local elections in October, followed by general elections in 2024 (presidential, legislative, provincial and possibly district elections).
Cabo Delgado province has faced an armed insurgency promoted by rebels for five years, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.
The insurgency led to a military response a year ago with support from Rwanda and SADC, liberating districts near gas projects, but new waves of attacks have emerged in the south of the region and neighbouring Nampula province.
In five years, the conflict has left one million people displaced, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and around 4,000 dead, according to the ACLED conflict registration project.