Africa-Press – Mozambique. Mozambique’s defence minister has called for increased vigilance in the community in the face of the threat of insurgent groups, which have carried out armed attacks in the northern region, reiterating that the country’s defence “is not delegated”.
“Our warning is to redouble vigilance within the community concerning all kinds of suspicious movements because the terrorists usually live within the population,” said Cristóvão Chume.
The minister was speaking on Tuesday during the launch of the military service registration campaign in Gaza province.
Chume said that the fight against armed groups in northern Mozambique should be done by everyone, noting that the “defence of the homeland cannot be delegated”.
“The others can come and support us, be side by side with us, but this country has to be defended by us,” he stressed.
The president of the ‘troika’ of Cooperation in the Areas of Politics and Defence of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Tuesday advocated extending the mandate of the forces supporting Mozambique in the fight against armed groups in Cabo Delgado, which is due to be discussed today at an extraordinary summit.
The province of Cabo Delgado is rich in natural gas but has been terrorised since 2017 by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.
The conflict has led to more than 3,100 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project, and more than 817,000 displaced people, according to Mozambican authorities.
Since July, an offensive by government troops with support from Rwanda later joined by SADC allowed several areas to recover, but the conflict spread in November to the neighbouring province of Niassa.