Mozambique jihadi violence spreads despite military effort

NANJUA, Mozambique: Fleeing beheads, shootings, rapes and kidnappings, nearly 1 million people displaced by radical Islamist insurgency in the north Mozambican.
A five-year wave of jihadist violence in Cabo Delgado province has left more than 4,000 people dead and impacted billions of dollars of international investments.
In a pile of dilapidated tents and thatched huts around Nanjua, a small town in the southern province of Cabo Delgado, several hundred families are seeking safety from the violence. They say their conditions are bleak and food support is meager but they are afraid to return home because of continued violence by the rebels, who are now known as the Islamic State of Mozambique Province.
More than 1,000 miles south, however, government officials in the capital Maputo say the rebels are under control and are encouraging evacuees to return to their homes and energy companies to refuel. continue their projects.
“Terrorists are on the run forever”, President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi assured investors at the Mozambique Energy and Gas Summit in Maputo in September. He called for a gathering of international energy executives to continue working on gas projects. Their stagnated liquefaction natural.
Mozambique’s military and police forces, supported by troops from Rwanda and supported by regional forces from South African Development Communitysucceeded in stopping the radical uprising, officials said.
“These places have now normalized and civilians are returning,” said Rwandan Brig. Gene. Ronald Rwivangatold the Rwandan newspaper The New Times this month, that normal life is returning to Palma county.
Energy companies say they want to see displaced people return to the area. The $60 billion liquefied natural gas projects led by France-based TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil were suspended last year after rebels briefly captured the adjoining town of Palma last month. 3.
Speaking at the summit in Maputo, Stéphane Le Galles, head of TotalEnergies’ Mozambique gas project, said “the direction is very good” but the company still wants to see a “sustainable economic situation, not just in Palma… all over Cabo Delgado. ”
Despite the dense presence of Mozambican and Rwandan troops, the extremists’ attacks continued. Earlier this month, rebels first spread violence to neighboring Nampula province, where a Catholic mission was among the targets and an elderly Italian nun was among those killed.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said it “consides too unstable security conditions in Cabo Delgado to facilitate or promote a return to the province,” in a statement issued earlier this month.
“Those who have lost everything are returning to areas where most humanitarian assistance and services are unavailable,” UNHCR said.
The returnees encountered a mixed situation. Economic life is starting to return, but infrastructure and basic public services are still lacking. Few schools are open and health services are sparse.
In the provincial capital of Pemba, where more than 100,000 people have been displaced seeking refuge, an elderly woman sits outside the hut where her family of 15 lived two years ago after fleeing the attack. of the insurgents. They live on a diet low in cornmeal and plain rice. Unable to find work, they don’t have money to buy clothes or other necessities, she said.
“Definitely, we want to go back. This is not a house,” the grandmother said on condition of anonymity for her safety.
With their villages further north now destroyed, she says it will be even harder to restore normal life.
Weighing the risks and costs back, many have decided to stay, despite the deprivations they face in displacement camps.
“There, war and famine,” said another at the Nanjua camp. “We won’t go to a better place.”
A mother holding her baby while sitting on the grass said the threat of extreme violence remains a concern. She said many people are still haunted by their experience at the hands of insurgents: “It’s hard to sleep in a place where you’ve seen a snake.”


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