Mozambique jihadi violence spreads despite military effort

Oct 15, 2022, 12:08 PM | Updated: Oct 16, 2022, 12:13 am
This undated photo provided on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022 by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) shows peopl...

This undated photo provided on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022 by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) shows people displaced by the conflict in Cabo Delgado Province Mozambique, next to a truck on the outskirts of Mueda, Mozambique, waiting to be transported to reach Palma, a coastal town that was attacked earlier this year and where some people have already gradually returned. Fleeing beheadings, shootings, rapes and kidnappings, nearly 1 million people are displaced by the Islamic extremist insurgency in northern Mozambique. (Igor Barbero/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) via AP)

(Igor Barbero/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

              In this image made from video, Rwandan and Mozambican police speak to returnees in Palma, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Fleeing beheadings, shootings, rapes and kidnappings, nearly 1 million people are displaced by the Islamic extremist insurgency in northern Mozambique. (AP Photo/Marc Hoogsteyns, File)
            
              FILE - In this image made from video, a Rwandan policeman, right, and Mozambican military, left, patrol near the Amarula Palma hotel in Palma, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Fleeing beheadings, shootings, rapes and kidnappings, nearly 1 million people are displaced by the Islamic extremist insurgency in northern Mozambique. (AP Photo/Marc Hoogsteyns, File)
            
              EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - FILE - In this image made from video, the bodies of dead militants are seen on a road on the outskirts of Mocimboa Da Praia, in Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. Fleeing beheadings, shootings, rapes and kidnappings, nearly 1 million people are displaced by the Islamic extremist insurgency in northern Mozambique. (AP Photo, File)
            
              FILE - In this image made from video, residents watch as Rwandan soldiers patrol in the village of Mute, in Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. Fleeing beheadings, shootings, rapes and kidnappings, nearly 1 million people are displaced by the Islamic extremist insurgency in northern Mozambique. (AP Photo/Marc Hoogsteyns, File)
            
              This photo provided on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022 by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) shows Maria Maleve, in Montepuez, Mozambique, who was displaced by the conflict in Cabo Delgado Province Mozambique July 29, 2022, as she waits to return home. Fleeing beheadings, shootings, rapes and kidnappings, nearly 1 million people are displaced by the Islamic extremist insurgency in northern Mozambique. (Mariana Abdalla/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) via AP)
            
              This undated photo provided on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022 by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) shows people displaced by the conflict in Cabo Delgado Province Mozambique, next to a truck on the outskirts of Mueda, Mozambique, waiting to be transported to reach Palma, a coastal town that was attacked earlier this year and where some people have already gradually returned. Fleeing beheadings, shootings, rapes and kidnappings, nearly 1 million people are displaced by the Islamic extremist insurgency in northern Mozambique. (Igor Barbero/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) via AP)

NANJUA, Mozambique (AP) — Fleeing beheadings, shootings, rapes and kidnappings, nearly 1 million people are displaced by the Islamic extremist insurgency in northern Mozambique.

The 5-year wave of jihadi violence in Cabo Delgado province has killed more than 4,000 people and scuppered international investments worth billions of dollars.

In a sprawl of dilapidated tents and thatched huts around Nanjua, a small town in the southern part of Cabo Delgado province, several hundred families are seeking safety from the violence. They say their conditions are bleak and food assistance is meager but they’re afraid to return home because of continuing violence by the rebels who are now going by the name Islamic State Mozambique Province.

More than 1.000 miles south, however, government officials in the capital Maputo are saying the insurgency is under control and are encouraging the displaced to return to their homes and energy companies to resume their projects.

“The terrorists are on the run permanently,” Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi assured investors at the Mozambique Energy and Gas Summit in Maputo in September. He urged the gathering of international energy executives to resume work on their stalled liquefied natural gas projects.

Mozambique’s army and police forces, backed up by troops from Rwanda and support from a regional force from the Southern African Development Community, have succeeded in containing the extremist rebellion, officials say.

“These places have now normalized and civilians are coming back,” Rwandan Brig. Gen. Ronald Rwivanga, told the Rwandan newspaper The New Times this month, saying normal life is returning to the Palma district.

Energy companies say they want to see displaced people return to the area. The $60 billion liquefied natural gas projects led by the France-based TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil were suspended last year after insurgents briefly captured the adjacent town of Palma in March.

Speaking at the summit in Maputo, Stéphane Le Galles, the head of TotalEnergies’ Mozambique gas project, said “the direction is very good” but the company still wants to see “a sustainable economic situation, not just in Palma but … all over Cabo Delgado.”

Despite the heavy presence of Mozambican and Rwandan soldiers, the extremists’ attacks continue. Earlier this month the rebels spread their violence for the first time to neighboring Nampula province, where a Catholic mission was among the targets and an elderly Italian nun was among those killed.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees said it “considers security conditions to be too volatile in Cabo Delgado to facilitate or promote returns to the province,” in a statement released earlier this month.

“People who have lost everything are returning to areas where services and humanitarian assistance are largely unavailable,” said the UNHCR.

Those who return are met with a mixed situation. Economic life is beginning to return but basic infrastructure and public services are still lacking. Few schools are open and health services are sparse.

In the provincial capital, Pemba, where more than 100,000 displaced people have sought refuge, an elderly woman sat outside a hut where her family of 15 took up residence two years ago after fleeing an insurgent attack. They subsist on a meager diet of corn flour and plain rice. Unable to find work, they have no money for clothes or other essentials, she said.

“Definitely, we want to go back. This is not a home,” said the grandmother, who spoke on condition of anonymity for her safety.

With their villages further north now destroyed, she says resuming normal life will be even more difficult.

Weighing up the risks and costs of returning, many have decided to stay put, despite the deprivations they face in the displacement camps.

“Over there, there is war and hunger,” said another displaced person in the Nanjua camp. “We would not be going to a better place.”

A mother cradling a small child while sitting on a grass mat said the threat of extremist violence remains a concern. She said many remain haunted by their experiences at the hands of the insurgents: “It’s difficult to sleep in a place where you have seen a snake.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Villagers stand on an area covered in volcanic ash as Mount Semeru looms in the background in Kajar...
Associated Press

Indonesia’s Mt. Semeru eruption buries homes, damages bridge

SUMBERWULUH, Indonesia (AP) — Improved weather conditions Monday allowed rescuers to resume evacuation efforts and a search for possible victims after the highest volcano on Indonesia’s most densely populated island erupted, triggered by monsoon rains. Mount Semeru in Lumajang district in East Java province spewed thick columns of ash more than 1,500 meters (nearly 5,000 […]
20 hours ago
FILE - Bob McGrath, right, looks at the Cookie Monster as they accept the Lifetime Achievement Awar...
Associated Press

Bob McGrath, ‘Sesame Street’ legend, dies at 90

Bob McGrath, an actor, musician and children’s author widely known for his portrayal of one of the first regular characters on the children’s show “Sesame Street” has died at the age of 90. McGrath’s passing was confirmed by his family who posted on his Facebook page on Sunday: “The McGrath family has some sad news […]
20 hours ago
FILE - Capital murder defendant and former U.S. Border Patrol Juan David Ortiz looks around the cou...
Associated Press

Jurors hear ex-Border Patrol agent’s confession in killings

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jurors in the capital murder trial of a former U.S. Border Patrol agent have heard a taped interview in which he confesses to the 2018 killings of four sex workers in South Texas. If convicted of capital murder, Juan David Ortiz, 39, faces life in prison without parole because prosecutors are […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: 180 dogs and cats removed from home by hazmat team

BRICK, N.J. (AP) — Some 180 dogs and cats were removed from a New Jersey home by a hazmat team after officials reported the animals were being kept in “horrible and inhumane conditions,” authorities say. Brick Township police said officers entered the home Friday night and found stacks of animal crates containing dogs and cats, […]
2 days ago
FILE - In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by th...
Associated Press

Iran morality police status unclear after ‘closure’ comment

CAIRO (AP) — An Iranian lawmaker said Sunday that Iran’s government is “paying attention to the people’s real demands,” state media reported, a day after a top official suggested that the country’s morality police whose conduct helped trigger months of protests has been shut down. The role of the morality police, which enforces veiling laws, […]
2 days ago
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the J Street National Conference at the Omni Shoreham H...
Associated Press

Blinken vows US support for Israel despite unease over gov’t

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday the U.S. will not shrink from its unwavering support for Israel despite stark differences with Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu and concerns the Biden administration may have about potential members of his incoming right-wing government. Speaking to a left-leaning group that some on the right accuse […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Mozambique jihadi violence spreads despite military effort