Mozambique: State will not win Cabo Delgado conflict if locals are hostile to state forces – FADM - fonte: Club of Mozambique
The deputy chief of the General Staff of Mozambique’s defence forces (FADM), Bertolino Capitine, warned on Monday that the State will not win the conflict in Cabo Delgado if the local population is hostile to the government forces.
“We can have cannons of last resort, but if the population is hostile to the Mozambican state, there will be no victories,” he said at a meeting with military personnel deployed in Macomia district, one of the districts affected by the action of armed groups in the province of Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique.
He said that the FADM should maintain its commitment to eradicate “terrorism” in Cabo Delgado.
“The moment has already arrived for us to destroy the terrorists, the conditions are already created, what we needed to face terrorism we have already received,” he emphasised.
“The defeat of the terrorists will be a way to honour the chief of the general staff of the FADM, Eugenio Mussa, who died a week ago from illness.
Eugenio Mussa said in December last year that 2021 would be a “decisive year for resolving the pending issue” in Cabo Delgado”.
The reference by the deputy chief of the general staff regarding the need for the FADM to maintain healthy relations with the population of districts affected by armed violence in Cabo Delgado gains importance in a context in which government forces have been accused of committing abuses against civilians, drawing dislike from communities in the region.
Armed violence in Mozambique’s northern province, home to Africa’s largest private multinational investment, to exploit natural gas, is causing a humanitarian crisis with over 2,000 deaths and 560,000 people displaced, without housing or food, concentrated mainly in the provincial capital, Pemba.
Some of the incursions have been claimed by the ‘jihadist’ group Islamic State since 2019.