Bonomade Omar, the military commander of the terrorist insurgents operating in Cabo Delgado province, in the north of Mozambique, is in the district of Mocímboa da Praia, and will be captured if he does not die in combat, the commander of the Mozambican army, Cristóvão Chume, said.
Two weeks ago, the United States announced that Bonomade Machude Omar — also known as Abu Sulayfa Muhammad and Ibn Omar — was head of the military and foreign affairs departments for Islamic State in Mozambique, and senior commander and principal coordinator of all attacks carried out by the group in northern Mozambique.
Chume said that several collaborators close to Omar were captured during joint operations carried out by Mozambican and Rwandan forces.
“In these last days, he has lost some very important men who were protecting him, and some of his deputies are being captured,” the commander said.
On the other hand, the government is creating conditions for the population to return to areas once occupied by terrorists, the secretary of state in Cabo Delgado province, António Supeia, has said.
The government’s priority was to restore essential services to help the population, he said from the town of Palma.
“The employees must be here to receive you, solve your problems. So, this is going to need us to have to rebuild these houses first so that the people can be there, but soon we’re going to call you all to come back,” he said.
The district administrator for Mocímboa da Praia, Assuate Falume, said it was too early for people to return to the town of Mocímboa da Praia, but that the government would give the signal when the time was right.
A team would soon arrive to evaluate the damage caused by the terrorists during their year-long occupation of the town, Valigy Tauabo, the Cabo Delgado provincial governor, said.
A preliminary estimate by the president of the city council, Chea Momba, put the cost of rehabilitating the town’s infrastructure at around MZN500m ($7.85m).
Vodacom Moçambique said it would be able to provisionally re-establish mobile communications in the town within a week, which among other things was intended to help communication between Mozambican and Rwandan troops operating there.