By Jorge Joaquim
The terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado province are linked to the natural gas and precious minerals found there, Interior Minister Amade Miquidade has admitted.
The minister was answering questions in parliament about the government’s strategy for combating the armed groups that have been carrying out attacks in the region for three years, when he said that terrorism has a relationship with resources and resources with terrorism, and “this is the evil that we deal with”.
He added that the discovery of hydrocarbons and precious minerals in the region attracted international groups interested in its disorderly exploration, and that criminal groups with international connection were behind the conflict.
“It is not to be neglected, [that there might be] some geostrategic interest in the economic importance that the province [of Cabo Delgado] presents for the southern hemisphere and on the global hydrocarbon chess-board,” Minister Miquidade said.
According to the minister, armed violence in Cabo Delgado may bear the hand of the so-called ‘Islamic State of the Province of Central Africa’, “which recently carried out simultaneous attacks in Mozambique, Tanzania and DR Congo”.
Miquidade also admitted the presence of foreign mercenaries helping government forces, the first time the government has done so. He called them “security consultants” and said that the government had had to ask other countries for support, as Mozambique did not have experience in fighting terrorism.
“The new economic players have specific security dynamics, and the continuity of these investments requires specialization in means that we do not have,” the minister said.