Maputo (Agenzia Fides) - "Everything has been destroyed ...", said the Brazilian missionary Father Edegard Silva, about the damage in the Nangololo Mission in the Muidumbe district in the Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique, which was attacked, occupied and devastated by armed groups. "On October 30th, the terrorists returned to occupy the Muidumbe district, where our mission is located", the missionary said. "The entire population has fled into the bush. We took refuge in Pemba". During this period, the entire area remained under the control of the insurgents until they left the Catholic mission on November 19th. Only then it was possible to verify what had happened. Fr Silva writes that "everything has been destroyed. The house in which we lived was burned to ashes ... the entire equipment was burned, the parish seat destroyed, the community radio set on fire, the nuns' house destroyed". As a result of the violence of the insurgents and the massacres they have committed against civilians, the indigenous population is also suffering. "Many bodies were found on the way and the places of the massacres uncovered. The terrorists' actions are violent, several people were beheaded and executed, houses burned down and destroyed", reports Fr. Silva. "People cannot find their families. There is talk of many massacres and at least 500,000 displaced". The humanitarian situation is aggravated by a cholera epidemic and Covid-19.
Fr Silva asks for "international solidarity" in the face of this scenario of war and destruction, in order to provide 500 thousand people food, medicine, water, tents, tarpaulins. The insurgents who sow death and destruction in northern Mozambique call themselves "Al Shabaab" and have been affiliated with the Islamic State since 2019. They reject the existing secular society and want to found a society that is subject to Islamic Sharia law. They also want to establish a caliphate; the Islamic State therefore also speaks of Mozambique and Congo as the province (Wilayat) of ISIS (Daesh) in central Africa. But the insurgents are also considering a Swahili caliphate to be established in East Africa in Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 15/1/2021)