from ARMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO – ATTACKS by Islamists on civilians, over food, are forecast amid food scarcity in Mozambique.
In the latest such attack, the insurgents allegedly killed two civilians and stole dried fish and salt in Mucojo village, Macomia district in the northern Cabo Delgado province.
The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) documented the attacks that occurred last weekend.
This after the militants traveled through the surrounding villages of Guludo, Naunde, and Olumboa.
“As Cabo Delgado enters its lean season, when food production is scarce, these kinds of food-gathering attacks will likely become more common even as the frequency of attacks fluctuates,” ACLED stated.
The Mucojo attack followed reports last week that that insurgents had established several roadblocks along the route between Mucojo and Macomia town.
The insurgency by the so-called Al-Sunna wa Jama’a began in October 2017.
Fighting between the group and government forces has left more than 1 500 civilians dead, displaced more than 250 000 and resulted in more than 700 000 people needing emergency assistance.
The insurgents have committed beheadings, attacks on villages, summary executions, looting, and destruction of infrastructure, including schools and health centers.
The European Union (EU) has agreed to a request by the Mozambican government for help combatting the Islamist armed group.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) wants the EU’s engagement with Mozambique to prioritize the protection of civilians and suspected insurgents in custody.
“EU assistance to the Mozambican government should be clear on that point,” said Zenaida Machado, HRW Africa researcher.
The military has been accused of violations during anti-terror operations.
– CAJ News