Maputo (AIM-New Ziana) -The terrorist and violent extremism in Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique is not a problem for that country and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) alone, but for the entire world, leading local cleric and civil society leader, Bishop Dinis Matsolo, has said.
Bishop Matsolo was among representatives of civil society, police, correctional services, and women and youth groups invited to speak at the presentation of the preliminary results of the Early Response Mechanism (ERM) in Pemba last week.
The ERM is an initiative of the SADC Peace Building Support to Mozambique which is funded by the European Union.
It seeks to stabilise the security situation in Cabo Delgado Province which continues to be relatively calm but unpredictable due to the threat posed by terrorist activities.
A number of activities have been undertaken by the SADC Peace Building Support project under ERM to provide for humanitarian assistance and multi-dimensional peacekeeping which entails, among others, the involvement of civilians to undertake confidence building measures and programmes aimed at addressing mistrust within the communities.
Bishop Matsolo commented efforts by the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) and the ERM programme but said it would be a great mistake if people started believing that the problem in Cabo Delgado would be solved by the military alone.
He said as religious leaders, they believed that dialogue was cardinal in resolving the terrorist problem. He proposed an inter-religions dialogue where leaders of different faiths in the province would meet and show that they were together in fighting against terrorism. This would dispel the notion that the conflict was based on religion.
Bishop Matsolo also proposed an inter-community dialogue to address the plight of internally displaced people in Cabo Delgado, as well as an inter-generational dialogue in order to share values with the youths to promote social cohesion.
He said civil-military relations should not be underestimated and downplayed because there was a need for a sound relationship as the community should act as the local intelligence