Africa-Press – Mozambique. Governor of Cabo Delgado Valige Tauabo said on Tuesday that the province was calm, and that the incursions recorded in points previously considered safe in recent weeks were the result of the rebels fleeing the onslaught of government forces.
“The general situation in Cabo Delgado province is calm. Our institutions are in operation, and we have registered significant improvements from a security point of view,” Governor Tauabo declared during the 12th ordinary session of the Executive Council of Cabo Delgado.
The attacks in the southern part of the province began on June 5 and targeted remote points in Ancuabe district, 100 kilometres from the provincial capital Pemba, with the incursions also sowing panic in nearby districts such as Metuge Mecúfi and Chiure.
Governor Tauabo said the incursions in the southern part of the province had caused the population to flee parts of the four districts, but the situation was under control and the attacks were the result of “the passage of terrorists on the run” in the face of advances by Mozambican forces, supported by Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
“The population of districts affected by terrorism continue to return to their areas of origin, considering them already safe,” Valige Tauabo stressed.
The incursions of rebels in the south of the province have resulted in a so-far undetermined number of deaths and a new wave of around 17,000 displaced persons, in addition to their impact on economic activity in the region.
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi visited military positions in Ancuabe last Thursday and also said rebel groups were weakened and in disarray, carrying out attacks in search of supplies as they fled.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Mozambique admitted on Friday that insecurity was hampering the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those displaced by the recent attacks.
Cabo Delgado province, in northern Mozambique, is rich in natural gas, but has been terrorized since 2017 by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.
According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), about 784,000 persons have been internally displaced by the conflict, which has killed about 4,000, according to the ACLED conflict registry project.
Since July 2021, an offensive by government troops, with the support of Rwandan and later Southern African Development Community (SADC) troops, has recovered a number of areas from rebel control, but their flight has led to new attacks in districts through which they have passed or where they have taken up temporary refuge.