AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - In the north of the Country: Two jihadist attacks within two days

Monday, 13 May 2024 jihadists   displaced persons  

Maputo (Agenzia Fides) - Jihadists fighters linked to the Islamic State carried out two major attacks within two days in the Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique. The attack on Macomia (capital of the district of the same name) on May 10 (see Fides 10/5/2024) was followed on Sunday May 12 by the attack on the village of Missufine, in the district of Ancuabe, which began at around 6 p.m. local time and lasted at least 4 hours, forcing the population to flee the village.
In the meantime, the population of Macomia has returned to the city after the jihadists who occupied it left. During their attack on Macomia, the jihadists, numbering at least 100, also attacked the local base of the South African contingent of the Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM), which is in the process of withdrawing (see Fides 10/ 5/2024). Most of the South African soldiers had already retreated to Pemba (the provincial capital 130 km southeast along the coast) in order to be out of the country by July. A small contingent of South African soldiers remained at the Macomia base. After the jihadist attack, the South African military sent reinforcements from Pemba. According to security forces, the jihadists attacked Macomia in four groups from different directions. A source reports that a contingent of the Rwandan Defense Forces stationed in Mocimboa da Praia, the coastal town northeast of Macomia, also tried to intervene but was stopped by a strong rebel contingent. Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and the Ministry of Defense have also confirmed the attack on Macomia, but appear to attribute the repelling of the attack solely to the Mozambican army. Médecins Sans Frontières points out that "six years after the start of the conflict in Cabo Delgado, people still live in fear and violence has not abated. The conflict has displaced thousands of people in the province. Between February 8 and March 3, nearly 6,000 people fled Macomia.” Meanwhile, French energy giant TotalEnergies is exploring the possibility of resuming work on a $20 billion liquefied natural gas project in Cabo Delgado province. The project was already suspended in 2021 due to instability caused by jihadists. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 13/5/2024)