The head of the Mozambican police, Bernardino Rafael, has reiterated that Mozambique’s defence and security forces (FDS) are committed to eliminating the insurgents operating in Cabo Delgado, as evidenced by the elimination of more than 500 members of the group.
Cited by Mozambican daily Notícias, Rafael stated that “the network of terrorists is being dismantled” in Cabo Delgado.
Bernardino, who does not give any actual number for the insurgents attacking the province, said that the action of the FDS was preventing them from advancing elsewhere.
Cabo Delgado, rich in natural gas and other resources, has been the target of attacks since 2017 that have already killed more than a thousand people, displaced thousands more, destroyed infrastructure and paralysed the government and social organisations.
In the fight against the insurgents, the Mozambican authorities are reported to have the support of the Dick Advisory security firm, led by Lionel Dick, a retired colonel from Zimbabwe. Both Dick Advisory and the FDS have suffered casualties.
Several analysts say security in the province is crucial to the smooth progress of billion-dollar gas projects underway in the region.
The insurgents’ origins and motivations are intensely debated by both Mozambican and foreign authorities. Maputo says they are terrorists linked to the Islamic State jihadi organisation.
Source: Voa Portugues