Mozambique: At least seven killed and 10,000 displaced in recent jihadist attacks

A recent jihadist attack in northeastern Mozambique has killed at least seven people, four of them beheaded. The violence has so far affected relatively unaffected areas and is causing a new mass displacement of the population. According to the United Nations and the NGO Save the Children, 10,000 people have fled their homes in the past week.

The country has been plagued by jihadist violence since 2017, which has already killed nearly 4,000 people, according to the NGO Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (Acled) and forced about 800,000 people to flee. The armed groups operated mainly in the far northeast of the impoverished but wealthy province of Cabo Delgado, bordering Tanzania.

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But in early June, a series of attacks took place further south in the district of Anquab, 45 kilometers from the provincial capital city of Pemba. A region considered “Safe” So far, Save the Children Note in a press release issued on Tuesday, June 14: “At least four people have been beheaded in the latest attack, the first in the district. A Residents of nearby villages who fled have described beheadings, rapes, house burnings and abductions, the NGO continues.

Amido Pereira told AFP he had left with his family in front of a truck packed to the brim. “I saw a woman holding her husband’s head in her hands. Seeing that, everyone ran away. A On the side of the road, groups of men and women, some children hanging on their backs, loading packages, walking towards Pember, an AFP photographer noted.

Guerrilla tactics

Last week, two security guards working in a mine in the same district “Severely injured” The Australian company Triton Minerals, which mines graphite at the Anquabe site, said in a statement on Tuesday. “Under attack” June 8. According to diplomatic and humanitarian sources, the movement has been restricted since the beginning of June due to the escalation of violence. After a major attack on the port city of Palma in March 2021, however, these intensified, partly due to the deployment of regional military forces.

Since July, Rwanda and neighboring South African countries have deployed more than 3,100 troops in support of the fighting Mozambican army. Internally infiltrated jihadist groups, however, continue to carry out sporadic attacks using more traditional guerrilla tactics. The regional forces (Samim) said in a statement on Monday that they had killed him “Several terrorists” Soldiers lost one and wounded six in an operation.

Read more: Mozambique: Jihadi threat, barriers to natural gas competition

Mozambique regularly tries to reassure its investors about progress in the fight against jihadists. The discovery of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest natural gas reserves in 2010 gave the government billions of dollars in annual revenue for gas projects, a godsend for the country with a GDP of about 13 billion euros. Most of these projects are currently stuck. The Palma invasion in 2021 significantly forced the French giant TotalEnergy to suspend a 16.5 billion euro natural gas project just a few kilometers away.

Violence has also created a humanitarian crisis among displaced people. The United States on Tuesday announced 28.3 million euros in aid through the World Food Program (WFP) during the visit of diplomat Victoria Nuland to Mozambique.

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The world, including AFP

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