By Jorge Joaquim
A spokesman for Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party has claimed that the country is unable to help Mozambique fight the insurgency in Cabo Delgado province because of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States.
Patrick Chinamasa said that if the country were operating normally and without sanctions, then it would be a “clear case” for intervention, but this was not possible.
“[T]he sanctions have made us not intervene. We are then asking the United States president-elect Joe Biden to remove the sanctions which he co-authored, if he’s intelligent enough”, he told reporters.
Since 2017, the insurgency in Cabo Delgado province has increasingly taken lethal twists, with the extremists getting more brazen with each year. The situation has left 2,000 people dead, and another 400,000 displaced. Many are seeking safety in parts of Cabo Delgado and Nampula and Niassa provinces. Many districts continue to be inaccessible because they are occupied by armed groups or remain at high risk of being attacked.
Venezuela condemns the attacks
The Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, on behalf of the Venezuelan people, condemned the terrorist attacks perpetrated against the civilian population in Mozambique.
“Venezuela strongly condemns this type of action, while sending all its solidarity to the people and the government of President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi,” the Foreign Minister wrote on his official Twitter account.
Over 50 people had been beheaded last week on a football pitch in the village of Muatide, Muidumbe district. Schools, health centers, private houses and government infrastructures have also reportedly been targeted and destroyed.
Amir condoles with Mozambique leader
The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and the Deputy Amir Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Thani sent on Saturday cable of condolences to Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi on the victims of the armed attack that targeted several villages and a football stadium in northern Mozambique, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
In his cable, the Amir affirmed Qatar’s firm position rejecting violence and terrorism, regardless of the motives and reasons.
The Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani also sent a similar cable to Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho.
The insurgency in northern Mozambique is often likened to Al-Shabab, the Islamic militant group operating in Somalia. Since 2019, the Mozambican fighters claim allegiance to the terror organization “Islamic State” (ISIS). Experts believe most members come from Tanzania or northern Mozambique.