Maputo, 6 Nov (AIM) – The self-styled “Islamic State” terrorist group has kidnapped several people over the last two weeks in the districts of Macomia and Mocímboa da Praia, in the northern Mozambican Province of Cabo Delgado, according to a report in Monday’s issue of the independent newsheet “Carta de Moçambique.”
It is believed that the terrorists are looking for new members as a result of the defeats they have suffered recently.
“The last two weeks have been marked by an intense migration of insurgents southwards, from Macomia to the district of Quissanga, leading the security forces to reinforce their presence to the north of Pemba (the provincial capital)”, writes the paper.
The insurgents’ move south seems to have begun on October 19, when a group of fighters was seen passing through the villages of Nambo, Messano and Lumuamua, in the Mucojo administrative post, telling the locals to rebuild their lives and that the violence of the past was over.
According to local sources, several fishermen who had returned to Pangane, in Macomia, have also disappeared in recent weeks and are believed to have been kidnapped or recruited into the insurgency. After the kidnapping, residents of Pangane abandoned the region.
A group of around 20 insurgents was seen again on the outskirts of Cagembe on October 28 and 29, suggesting that a camp had been set up near the village. One source said they were carrying some bladed weapons and showed signs of hunger, while another said the insurgents were trying to reassure the locals that they should not be afraid and should continue working in the fields.
In response to the movements of terrorists, the security forces have increased their alert level and sent more troops to Quissanga and Metuge districts.
Cabo Delgado has been plagued by terrorism since October 2017 and, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the conflict has left one million people displaced and about 4,000 dead.