By Jorge Joaquim
The Southern African Development Community will meet on 8 April to discuss regional measures to resolve the terrorists attacks in Mozambique, after a calling made by the president of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, as head of the community’s body on politics, defence and security.
South Africa would be guided by the results of the meeting in how it could help Mozambique, a South African defence ministry spokesman said.
South Africa is the biggest military power in the region, and therefore its intervention is key in the conflict.
The spokesman added that over 50 South Africans reported missing after the terrorist attack on the Mozambican town of Palma had been found by their government. The deadly attack was recorded on 24 March.
Now, the town has been fully recovered from terrorists and is under the control of the Defence and Security Forces (FDS), the governor of Cabo Delgado province, Valige Tauabo, said after a visit to the town on Sunday to inspect the results of the terrorist attack.
Operations to mop up remaining terrorists continued and soon the refugee population would return to their homes, he said speaking to state-owned broadcaster TVM which was also on the scene.
Images show a scene of destruction, with buildings damaged and decomposing bodies abandoned on the road. TVM journalist Brito Simango was in the area of Palma’s Catholic church where, before Saturday, the Islamists had been continuing to fight, and said in the report that the Mozambican authorities were also controlling the Palma airstrip.
Brigadier Vidigal Chongo told journalists in Palma that the work of clearing the entire perimeter of the town had ended, and that they were now moving on to the phase of recovering the population that had fled to the forests, state-owned radio station Rádio Moçambique reported.
Chongo said that it was a critical phase which would require a lot of attention from the FDS, so as not to allow terrorists to mix with the population and create more disturbances in the town.