Terrorism problem for entire country, warns archbishop

Terrorism problem for entire country, warns archbishop
Terrorism problem for entire country, warns archbishop

Africa-Press – Mozambique. The violence in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado should be regarded as a problem, not only of that province, but of the entire country, the Catholic Archbishop of the provincial capital, Pemba, Juliasse Sandramo, has warned.

Cited by the independent television station STV, the archbishop said the terrorists active in Cabo Delgado could spread across the whole country.

“Mozambican society should mobilise to face terrorism”, he urged. “It would be a serious mistake to think that the struggle against terrorism should take place only in Cabo Delgado. It should take place across the country, because there are links. We are dealing with a certain type of extremism. It may have a religious stamp, but it is extremism, it is radicalism, and its ideas can be spread throughout the country”.

The military presence of Mozambique and its allies is important, said the Archbishop, but there should also be “a struggle to raise awareness so that every Mozambican takes a clear position and fights against all those who spread hatred, all those who spread ideas that make it difficult for Mozambicans to live together

Sandramo noted that, because of the recent upsurge in terrorist attacks, thousands of people have fled from their villages. The Catholic Church, he said, is working in Chiure town to assist the displaced people, but they lack almost everything

“Those who managed to leave their villages when they realized that the insurgents were approached were able to take some food with them”, he said. “But those who were taken by surprise left with nothing”.

Not only did they have no food, but they have no shelter, and it is now raining in Cabo Delgado. These destitute people require support from all Mozambicans, the Archbishop urged.

The terrorist raids have disrupted road transport in Cabo Delgado. Transport operators, cited by the independent daily “O Pais”, say they are afraid to travel on the province’s roads – and, in any case, few passengers are willing to risk the journey.

Operators told reporters that the jihadist raids are destroying their business.

One bus driver, Azarias Sambo, who has been in the business for the past decade, said “we haven’t been able to carry many passengers since last year, and in recent days it’s got much worse. Some days we only carry 15 passengers in a bus”.

Raul Langa, Deputy Chairperson of the Cabo Delgado Transporters’ Association, complained of the shortage of passengers.

“The attacks in the north mean that people are so scared that they don’t want to travel”, said Langa. He feared that the future for transport operators in Cabo Delgado was “ever more uncertain”.

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