Armed group loots Quissanga district headquarters

Armed group loots Quissanga district headquarters
Armed group loots Quissanga district headquarters

Africa-Press – Mozambique. An armed group today attacked and looted the headquarters of the Mozambican district of Quissanga, which was already among those most affected by the terrorist incursions plaguing Cabo Delgado since 2017, a local source told Lusa on Saturday.

The new incursion began around 08:00 a.m., when hooded, armed men entered the headquarters of Quissanga, a district located in the centre of the province, just over 100 kilometres from the provincial capital, Pemba.

“We were taken by surprise. The terrorists, in large numbers, entered and began looting goods from the stalls [commercial establishments],” a source who fled Quissanga told Lusa shortly after the attack began.

Other reports from the community state that the group forced children to carry looted products, having seized local fishermen’s canoes to leave the area.

“They took canoes and children to transport the looted products and then sent the minors back to the community,” another local resident told Lusa.

There are reports of many families who left the area because of the attack by the group, which is suspected of having carried out another incursion in Mussomero, located just over six kilometres from Quissanga, on Friday.

“They spent the whole night in Mussomero,” another local source told Lusa.

Today insurgents circulating with a group of women & children in Mussomero, #Quissanga. They didn’t attack or charged vehicles but buy goods.#CaboDelgado

— Cabo Delgado (@DelgadoCabo) March 2, 2024

After several months of relative normality in the districts affected by armed violence in Cabo Delgado, the province has, for a few weeks now, been registering new movements and attacks by rebel groups, whose circulation is limited to points on the few paved roads in the districts affected.

Official data indicate that the new wave of attacks have forced 67,321 people to flee their homes. The Mozambican executive characterises the incursions as a result of the “movement of small groups of terrorists”, who left their barracks towards the south of Cabo Delgado after a period of relative stability.

Cabo Delgado province has been facing an armed insurgency for six years, with some attacks claimed by the extremist Islamic State group.

The insurgency has led to a military response since July, 2021, with the support of Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), liberating districts near natural gas projects, but new waves of attacks have arisen in the south of the region.

The conflict has already displaced one million people, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and caused around 4,000 deaths, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED).

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