Minors go missing after attack on Nova Zambézia village, Cabo Delgado


Three minors from the same family disappeared from a village in northern Mozambique on the same night that an unknown armed group attacked the area, relatives of the victims told Lusa on Tuesday.


“My nephews disappeared from our village, Nova Zambézia, on Tuesday night (14-03),” an uncle of the boys said.


The man suspects that the minors – aged 11, 14 and 16 – were kidnapped by the rebel group that invaded a military base there on the same night.


“We have no information about anything, we are waiting for them to reappear soon,” the man says, expressing hope that “if they are in the possession of terrorists, they will not harm them”.


This is the most recent case of the frequent abduction of children and young people in Cabo Delgado over the four and a half years of the insurgency there, and in which young people and minors have been used as soldiers by insurgent forces.

Signs of violence persist in Macomia district, despite the military offensive against the rebels, other local sources told Lusa.


The town of Macomia has continued to see the arrival, in recent days, of families fleeing clashes in the Nova Zambézia area.


“We are in a bad situation: even those who used to live in the camps, tending their machambas, are leaving,” one source said.


“Children do not go to school; we are trying to reintegrate them here in Macomia, but we are afraid of being attacked again here,” the same source concluded.


The town of Macomia, 200 kilometres from the provincial capital, Pemba, was first invaded by rebel groups and occupied for a few days in 2020, leading to an exodus of residents.

Since July, 2021, when the foreign-backed military offensive disrupted the insurgency, scattered groups of rebels have roamed parts of Cabo Delgado, such as Macomia and Meluco, launching ad hoc attacks on villages.

Source: Lusa

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