Mozambique: displaced starts to return to Mocimboa da Praia, released from jihadists

Disagree in the city in August 2021, the Chababs dispersed in areas that are difficult to access, from where they continue to carry out attacks against villages and military positions.


They got off the bus with all smiles by carrying their belongings at arm’s length. On June 9, 123 inhabitants of Mocimboa da Praia were authorized to reinstall itself in the small port town of the extreme northeast of Mozambique. Coming from the quetunda displaced camp, 80 km to the north, they are the first to return since the locality was taken over to the Islamist insurgents Chabab by the Mozambican armed forces and their Rwandan ally in August 2021. But the city that They have known almost or almost.

Calcinated coconut trees, walls with bullets, burned shops, vehicles abandoned by tens and reduced to the state of carcasses … The fighting left Mocimboa da Praia exsangue. Men in blue work have been activated since early June to clean the streets and straighten what can be, the whole city is bathed in an atmosphere at the end of the world. The church seems to have been attacked with the heavy weapon. Administrative buildings, service stations, the main mosque, schools and banks have been completely destroyed.

Before becoming the main bastion of Chabab, Mocimboa da Praia was the symbol of their growing grip on the province of Cabo Delgado. The small port locality is located halfway on the coastal road which goes from Pemba, the economic lung of Cabo Delgado, in Palma, which houses the immense gas site of Afungi, of which Totalenergies is the main promoter. “A practical city, a northern crossroads, with resources, solid houses, an essential airport and port for business,” summarizes Rwandan lieutenant-colonel Vincent Ntazinda, who now ensures the security of part of the city .

we will have to rebuild everything

The insurgents have long benefited from relays and support at Mocimboa da Praia. Several Chabab fighters, including one of the main leaders of the group, Bonomade Machude Omar (alias “Ibn Omar”), are from the city. It was there that they became known on October 5, 2017, taking over several police stations. And it was from this rear base that they have extended their actions, cutting the roads and emptying the villages.

After several incursion attempts, Mocimboa da Praia went completely under the control of the jihadists in August 2020. Seven months later, the city of Palma, 80 km further north, fell in turn. An all -round thrust that threw on the roads nearly 800,000 inhabitants of Cabo Delgado.

You have 54.07% of this article to read. The continuation is reserved for subscribers.

/Media reports.