Foto: Estacio Valoi /For illustration purposes only.
Germany will support with 4.2 million euros until the end of 2022 a project of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to “strengthen stability and security in the cross-border area” of Mozambique with Tanzania, the German embassy announced.
The initiative aims to “improve relations between the police authorities and communities,” contributing to “maintaining peace and stability,” reads a statement from the diplomatic representation in Maputo.
On the Mozambican side, the project will be applied in Cabo Delgado, which borders Tanzania along the Rovuma river, whilst on the Tanzanian side, to the north, communities in Mtwara province will be covered.
That border division is one of the suspected routes for terrorists to enter northern Mozambique, but it is also the destination for thousands of displaced people fleeing violence in Cabo Delgado to Tanzania – and being returned to Mozambican soil.
The project aims to improve the relationship between “police authorities and local communities” and promote “greater cross-border security for the local population and for the people displaced” from armed violence in northern Mozambique.
Without detailing, German diplomacy announces a “capacity building” of “relevant government authorities” associated with “community policing and border management practices”.
“This support stems from the German commitment to prevent crises, manage conflicts and promote peace,” said Rüdiger Zettel, Chargé d’Affaires at the German embassy in Mozambique.
“A strengthened collaboration between the affected communities and the local police force can make a big difference in tackling the crisis,” he added.
“After observing the evolving needs in northern Mozambique, our partnership with the German Government could not be more timely to assist the Government of Mozambique,” said Laura Tomm Bonde, IOM’s Head of Mission in Mozambique.
“This partnership contributes significantly to peace and stability in the areas of focus,” she added.
According to Mozambican border authorities, more than 9,600 displaced people have been forcibly repatriated by Tanzania through the Negomano border post since January this year.
Some 900 were literally “pushed” back to Mozambique in just a few days from June 7-9, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Armed groups have terrorised the province since 2017, with some attacks claimed by the ‘jihadist’ group Islamic State, in a wave of violence that has led to more than 2,800 deaths according to the ACLED conflict registration project and 732,000 displaced people according to the UN.