Maputo — The General Commander of the Mozambican police force, Bernadino Rafael, said on Friday that “the war against terrorism (in the northern province of Cabo Delgado) is almost at its end, but warned that the final military operations will be tougher.
Rafael was speaking to a contingent of troops from Rwanda, in the Chai administrative post, in Macomia district.
“We aren’t saying that we’ve come to the end, but we’re almost there”, said Rafael.
He claimed that 70 per cent of the military operations planned against the terrorist groups have been carried out, leaving just 30 per cent to be undertaken. “The war is tougher, more difficult, when it is nearing its end”, he said.
To illustrate successes in the fight against terrorism, Rafael said that 54 jihadists had been killed in the last two months, in clashes that pitted the terrorists against the forces of Mozambique, Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
He claimed that, in these operations, four terrorists were captured, and 195 people escaped from terrorist control. The results on the ground showed that the government forces “are hitting the enemy hard”, declared Rafael.
“We shall continue to fight the terrorists, without respite, until their final hideout”, he pledged. Rafael urged the jihadists to lay down their weapons and go home.
The terrorists, who claim affiliation to the self-styled “Islamic State”, have been carrying out raids in Cabo Delgado since October 2017. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) the conflict has displaced about 784,000 people from their homes.
Since July 2021, an offensive by the Mozambican forces and their Rwandan and SADC allies has driven the terrorists out of much of the area they had occupied.