By Jorge dos Santos
Tanzania says it is investigating the possible involvement of its citizens in the ongoing terrorist attacks in Mozambique since October 2017 which have already caused the deaths of over 1,000 people and several refugees.
The attacks take place in Cabo Delgado province, the far north of Mozambique which borders Tanzania. Some people already captured in connection with the attacks are from the region, including neighbouring Tanzania.
“We are conducting an investigation to find out if our citizens are involved in the attacks” the Tanzania’s high commissioner in Mozambique, Rajabu Luhwavi, said in Maputo moments after presenting has farewells to President Filipe Nyusi.
Luhwavi said it was in Tanzania’s interest to help fight terrorism in Mozambique, an evil that affected his own country as well and that it would be useful to unite the defence and security forces of the two countries in the fight against terrorism.
The reasons of the attacks are unknown, but the representative in Mozambique of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Cesar Guedes, has argued that the traffic of heroin from Mozambique to Europe via Mozambique is one of the main reasons for the conflict in Cabo Delgado province, where the Mozambican forces are fighting terrorists inspired by islamic fundamentalism.
Interviewed by the Portuguese news agency Lusa, Guedes said that Afghan heroin production has tripled in the past ten years, and Mozambique lies on one of the corridors used to take the drug to consumer nations.
He argued that the Kenyan and Tanzanian authorities have increased their vigilance in recent years, pushing traffickers who might once have used the Kenyan or Tanzanian coast further south, to Mozambique “in search of new routes and new markets”.
The UNODC official argued that, in Cabo Delgado, the traffickers “prefer a situation of instability, because they can then choose better their space and time” to transport the drug.