By Jorge Joaquim
Mozambique does not need foreign troops to fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado province, Roque Silva, secretary-general of ruling party Frelimo has said, adding that if foreign intervention was effective, countries like Afghanistan and Libya would be at peace.
He noted that the presence of Zimbabwean and Tanzanian troops had also not resolved the war against former paramilitary group Renamo in Mozambique.
Mozambique had competent human resources and the time to tackle the problem of terrorism, but only lacked logistical support, he said, arguing that security forces had recently succeeded in expelling insurgents from the town of Palma, even with limited resources.
Last week Silva visited the Cabo Delgado districts of Chiúre and Ancuabe, where he met people in refugee camps who had fled the war. While he was deeply saddened by their horrifying experiences, he was satisfied that they were now able to rebuild their lives and were starting to harvest crops, he said.
Former minister and member of Frelimo’s guiding Political Commission Tomaz Salomão said two weeks ago that Mozambique should not accept foreign troops coming to fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado, arguing that once they entered, they would “never leave.”
Salomão said that it was better for foreign governments to supply logistics support and training, as the Mozambican government had asked for.
He added that the timing of the attack on Palma, just days after Total and the government announced that work would resume at the site of Total’s natural gas project, suggested that the attack had been well planned and prepared, and that attackers were just waiting for the right moment to “pull the trigger”.