Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi has announced a reinforced attack on terrorism in Cabo Delgado will take place soon, with external support. “We will do everything so that the coming days will be of despair and agony for terrorists operating in Mozambique,” he added.
Leaders of southern African countries announced Wednesday in Maputo an agreement to send troops to Mozambique to fight jihadist groups that have been terrorizing the country’s northeast for over three years.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC, 16 countries) has “approved the mission of the SADC standby force to support Mozambique in its fight against terrorism and extremist violence in Cabo Delgado,” the organization’s executive secretary, Stergomena Tax, said at the end of an extraordinary summit, without giving further details.
“The valiant defence and security forces will intensify the operational actions to hunt these criminals, with the necessary support from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other friendly and brotherly countries,” President Nyusi added.
He reaffirmed that the country “never refused any support”, citing as an example the training of Mozambican forces with the support of the USA, European and African countries.
“The good young people of this country are in combat right now. They celebrate the anniversary of independence by hitting the enemy hard on the ground,” he said.
Mozambique is facing an insurgency in the northern province which borders Tanzania. The region has a population of 1.8 million people spread across 16 districts.
Islamic State-linked militants launched attacks on the north eastern coastal town of Palma on March 24, ransacked buildings and beheaded civilians.
Known locally as Al-Shabaab — but with no relation to the Somali-based terror group by the same name — the militants in Cabo Delgado have launched a series of brazen raids on towns and villages in an apparent bid to establish an Islamic caliphate.