Mozambique: Nyusi Confirms Terrorist Attacks in Nampula

Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Wednesday confirmed that, over the previous two days, terrorists have attacked several villages in Erati and Memba districts in the northern province of Nampula.

Nyusi was speaking in the southern city of Xai-Xai, at celebrations marking “Victory Day”, the 48th anniversary of the agreement on Mozambican independence signed by the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) and the Portuguese government on 7 September 1974.

Nyusi said the terrorists had beheaded six people and kidnapped another three. They also burnt down dozens of houses before escaping into the bush.

“In recent days, the terrorists have moved into Nampula province, where they are trying to recruit new members into their ranks”, said Nyusi.

He said these recruitment drives were unsuccessful. Unable to take young recruits with them, they hit out, between 27 August and 6 September, against villages in Ancuabe and Chiure districts in Cabo Delgado province, and others in Erati and Memba in Nampula.

He believed the terrorist attacks were used as a cover for other crimes. There had been “acts of pure opportunism” in some villages where local youths torched 13 houses and fled.

“So, these youths are thieves, opportunists and criminals on the path to terrorism”, he said. “They took advantage of a moment when the population was afraid, and burnt down houses, ensuring that the people ran away, while they stayed behind to steal goods”.

One member of this group was captured, and denounced the others, leading to five arrests, said the President.

Nyusi guaranteed that the Mozambican defence and security forces, with their Rwandan and SADC allies, are doing all in their power to ensure the rapid re-establishment of peace and security.

He also announced that a further 40 terrorists have surrendered to the authorities in the Cabo Delgado districts of Palma, Mocimboa da Praia and Nangade. They were now cooperating with the authorities, and providing information on the location of jihadist bases.

In Nampula, both the Secretary of State for the province, Mety Gondola, and the local Catholic Church, confirmed that one of the terrorists’ victims in Memba was an Italian nun.

The terrorists attacked the mission of São Pedro de Lúrio, in the village of Chipene, where, in addition to murdering the nun, the provoked the flight of an undetermined number of other missionaries, and of students who had been living at the mission.

The jihadists burnt down a catholic church, a mosque, a primary school, and houses of villagers.

Gondola said the authorities were paying attention to the security situation, particularly in Erati and Memba. He urged the public to collaborate with the defence and security forces in the fight against terrorism.


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