Mozambique’s Armed Forces Gain Ground in Cabo Delgado
Firming Up Control Over Cabo Delgado
Mozambique’s armed forces have been successful in securing a stronger hold over the northern province of Cabo Delgado, an area that has been a hotbed of rebel activity for several years. The Chief of Staff of Mozambique’s armed forces, Joaquim Rivas Mangrasse, made this announcement during a briefing with the president of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, in the central province of Tete.
Significant Blow to Rebel Forces
The elimination of the country’s leading terrorist, Mozambican Bonomade Machude Omar, was highlighted as a major victory by Mangrasse. Omar, who was considered the leader of the radical Islamic State group in Mozambique, was on the list of “global terrorists” by the United States and targeted by European Union sanctions. His death on August 25 was a result of “Golpe Duro II”, a military operation led by the Mozambique army.
Persistent Conflict in Cabo Delgado
Since 2017, Cabo Delgado province has been grappling with an armed insurgency. The extremist group Islamic State has claimed responsibility for some of these attacks. In response, the Mozambican Armed Defence Forces have been conducting operations to combat terrorism in the region since July 2021. They have been receiving support from Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The Humanitarian Impact
The conflict in northern Mozambique has had a severe humanitarian impact. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that the conflict has displaced approximately one million people. According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED) conflict registration project, the conflict has resulted in around 4,000 deaths. The Mozambican President has reported over 2,000 fatalities. Apart from the human cost, the conflict has also hindered the progress of natural gas production projects in the region.
Continued Operations Against Rebels
Despite these challenges, the Mozambican armed forces remain committed to their operations against the rebels. Mangrasse noted the steadfastness of the armed forces, emphasizing that the army has remained firm despite budgetary constraints. The success of these operations is crucial for restoring stability and security in the region, as well as for the well-being of the people of Cabo Delgado.
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