Maputo (AIM-New Ziana)– Mozambique has witnessed fewer attacks by Islamist insurgents this year than the previous one, after Rwanda and some neighbouring countries deployed troops to assist in fighting the four-year rebellion, President Felipe Nyusi said last Thursday.
The country’s gas-rich Cabo Delgado province has been rocked by attacks by Islamic State-linked militants since 2017, which have left at least 3 340 people dead and more than 800 000 others displaced.
But since July this year, more than 3 100 soldiers from Southern Africa, Europe and the United States have been deployed to the northern province to quell the unrest.
Despite ongoing attacks against villages and civilians on a weekly basis, President Nyusi told Parliament that these efforts had been partially successful.
“We were able to reduce terrorist attacks by three times,” he said.
While in 2020 the country registered over 160 attacks, the figure dropped to 52 this year, he said.
He said it was partly the “military cooperation” with Rwanda and the 16-nation Southern African Development Community of its neighbouring countries.
President Nyusi said recent operations had led to the capture of 245 suspected terrorists, killing of about 200 terrorists and 10 terrorist leaders.
On fears that the jihadists were instead spreading to territory adjacent to Cabo Delgado, he said some suspected fighters had also been captured in the province of Niassa.
President Nyusi however discouraged the displaced from returning to their villages.