Zimbabwean President “deeply shocked” with surge of terrorists attacks in Mozambique

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that he is “deeply shocked” by recent reports of terrorist activity in Mozambique, where Up to 2,000 people have been killed and about 430,000 have been left homeless.

The number of incidents has dramatically escalated this year, forcing scores to abandon their homes. Communities are caught between heavy-handed government responses and attacks by insurgents, some of which the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for.

Last week more than 50 people were beheaded in Cabo Delgado by militant Islamists. They turned a football pitch at Muidumb district into an execution ground, where they decapitated and chopped bodies.

Several people were also beheaded in Macomia district. The reports are the latest in a series of gruesome attacks that the militants have carried out in gas-rich Cabo Delgado province since 2017.

“I am deeply shocked by recent reports of terrorist activity in Mozambique,” Mnangagwa wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “These acts of barbarity must be stamped out wherever they are found”.

Observers say the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) should urgently assist Mozambique to stem the violent insurgency and bring relief to thousands of people in dire need.

“Zimbabwe is ready to assist in any way we can,” said Mnangagwa adding that “the security of our region is paramount in the protection of our people.”

Zimbabwe has a long history of involvement in neighbouring Mozambique. The guerrilla army affiliated to its ruling party used Mozambique as a base from which to launch attacks on then white-ruled Rhodesia in a 1970s liberation war. Zimbabwean troops intervened to quell a rebellion by militants affiliated to Mozambique’s opposition Renamo party in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Mozambican port of Beira is key for landlocked Zimbabwe’s imports.

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