By Jorge Joaquim
The death toll in the Cabo Delgado terrorist attacks has reached 2074, four years after the first attack that was recorded on October 5, 2017. More than 300,000 of displaced people have been recorded, according to Acled, which keeps the most accurate scorecard.
Islamic State has claimed a spate of recent attacks in the northernmost province of Cabo Delgado, home to the gas developments following one of the biggest gas finds in a decade off its coast. The terrorist organization is responsible for carrying out attacks against local businesses, government installations, and security forces.
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said on sunday (4) that the country “is being attacked by outside forces who are targeting the defenceless public and our social institutions.”
He was speaking after laying a wreath at the Monument to the Mozambican Heroes, at a ceremony commemorating the 28th anniversary of the signing, in Rome, of the General Peace Agreement between the government and the rebel movement Renamo, on 4 October 1992.
The terrorists “whose motives are unknown, murder our people and vandalise public and private institutions, with the aim of diverting us from the focus of our agenda as a people and delaying the achievement of our dreams”, said the President.
The US is said to be close to signing a military training agreement and hopes to have soldiers in Mozambique this year, according to political expert Joseph Hanlon. The US, in turn, has asked Zimbabwe to provide troops.
Bloomberg reports that the request came in a phone call between US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Tibor Nagy and Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo last week. The foreign minister pointed out that targeted sanctions against Zimbabwean officials made it difficult to cooperate with the US. But Moyo also told Nagy that it could be part of a broader normalising of relations.
Zimbabwean troops played an important role in defending the Beira corridor from Renamo in the 1980s, and some senior officers were based in Mozambique during their own liberation war in the 1970s.
Zimbabwe has troops but no money so someone will need to pay. But it would look better if the US came in with Zimbabwe under SADC cover.