ISSN 2330-717X

Mozambique: Insurgency Causing Irreparable Havoc And Devastation

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What has been referred to as Islamic attacks and insurgency is causing irreparable deep havoc and devastation in Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique. The insurgency that began in 2017 has unimaginable negative effects on settlements of the civilian population, and on business and industry operations. It has consistently received global condemnation from regional and international community.

International aid agency sources said between 6,000 and 10,000 people were still waiting to be evacuated to safety following the raid on Palma. Dozens of civilians were killed, including South Africans, in Palma where a major gas project worth an estimated $60 billion was being built by France’s Total and other energy companies. Total suspended operations at the facility that is located just a dozen kilometres from Palma. 

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has temporarily suspended evacuation flights from the town of Palma in northern Mozambique due to a deteriorating insecurity. A United Nations representative told the Reuters News Agency that the WFP is concerned about the increasing violence in the Cabo Delgado province, which is driving increased displacement of populations and leading to a rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the region.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that the conflict in Cabo Delgado has already displaced 350,000 children, 17,000 of them in last week’s attack on Palma. In a statement, UNICEF calls for additional protection for child victims of violence in Cabo Delgado and alerts to the general urgency of humanitarian aid to those living in the province, now ravaged by Covid-19 and cholera as well as extreme poverty.

The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks perpetrated in Cabo Delgado Province, Republic of Mozambique. It expressed its grave concern over the unravelling developments in the city of Palma.

Extending his solidarity with Mozambique in its fight against terrorism, the OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen offers his deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the attacks and to the Government and people of Mozambique. The Secretary General has reiterated the principled position of the OIC against all forms of terrorism and extremism.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika will be meeting next week to discuss the unrest in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado region. The meeting has been called by Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who doubles up as the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.

In a statement, the Southern African Development Community said “it is deeply concerned about the continued terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado, especially for the lives and welfare of the residents who continue to suffer from the atrocious, brutal and indiscriminate assaults. In addition, these attacks are an affront to peace and security, not only in Mozambique, but also in the region and the international community as a whole.”

The communiqué signed by Dr. Mokgweetsi also said SADC “expresses its full solidarity with the Government and people of the Republic of Mozambique, as well as the armed forces on the ground, who are working towards restoring peace and security in the affected areas. We also wish to reaffirm our continued commitment to contribute towards the efforts to bring about lasting peace and security, as well as reconciliation and development in Mozambique.”

STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SADC ORGAN ON POLITICS, DEFENCE AND SECURITY, HIS EXCELLENCY DR. MOKGWEETSI E. K. MASISI, ON THE TERRORIST ATTACKS ON THE TOWN OF PALMA, IN MOZAMBIQUE

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has learnt with dismay the inhumane terrorist attacks on the town of Palma in Mozambique, on 24 March 2021.

It is utterly disheartening that these indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population have resulted in the loss of lives of dozens of people, leaving hundreds others injured and many more displaced, particularly women and children. This has heightened insecurity in the area, leading to a serious humanitarian crisis, especially the need for the provision of basic services, such as food, water and shelter to the affected population.

SADC condemns in the strongest possible terms this heinous act of cowardice. It is our fervent hope that the perpetrators will be quickly arrested and brought to justice.

We wish to express our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the Government and people of the Republic of Mozambique and other affected countries, particularly the bereaved families, on the untimely demise of their loved ones. We also wish a speedy recovery for the injured.

SADC is deeply concerned about the continued terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado, especially for the lives and welfare of the residents who continue to suffer from the atrocious, brutal and indiscriminate assaults. These attacks are an affront to peace and security, not only in Mozambique, but also in the region and the international community as a whole.

We wish to express our full solidarity with the Government and people of the Republic of Mozambique, as well as the armed forces on the ground, who are working towards restoring peace and security in the affected areas. We also wish to reaffirm our continued commitment to contribute towards the efforts to bring about lasting peace and security, as well as reconciliation and development in Mozambique.

Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security. GABORONE, BOTSWANA. Dated: 31 MARCH 2021

Kester Kenn Klomegah

Kester Kenn Klomegah

Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and a policy consultant on African affairs in the Russian Federation and Eurasian Union. He has won media awards for highlighting economic diplomacy in the region with Africa. Currently, Klomegah is a Special Representative for Africa on the Board of the Russian Trade and Economic Development Council. He enjoys travelling and visiting historical places in Eastern and Central Europe. Klomegah is a frequent and passionate contributor to Eurasia Review.

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