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Mozambique Denies Islamists Beheaded 50 In Restive Region

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Jihadists kill 12 in northern Mozambique

Mozambique has denied reports of mass beheading by militant Islamists in the northern Cabo Delgado province even as international bodies call for a probe into the alleged killings.

The governor of the gas-rich province, Valige Tauabo, said there were no recent killings in any district of the province, contrary to reports.

He added that the last known killings by the Islamists took place on 6 April.

The state media had on Tuesday reported that more than 50 people were beheaded by the militants at a football pitch in a village in Miudumbe district.

The gunmen chanted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”, in English), fired shots, and set homes alight when they raided Nanjaba village on Friday night, the state-owned Mozambique News Agency quoted survivors as saying.

Governor Tauabo said there had only been “incursions by evildoers” who were being pursued by the military.

He added that the government is concerned about the spread of armed violence in Cabo Delgado.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called on the authorities in Mozambique to investigate brutal killings this past weekend in the country’s northern Cabo Delgado province and bring the perpetrators to justice.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Guterres expressed shock over the reports of massacres by non-state armed groups in several villages, including reported mass beheadings and kidnapping of women and children.

“He strongly condemns this wanton brutality,” the statement said.

“The Secretary-General urges the country’s authorities to conduct an investigation into these incidents, and to hold those responsible to account. He calls on all parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.”

Guterres also reiterated the UN’s commitment to continue to support the people and government of Mozambique in urgently addressing immediate humanitarian needs and efforts to uphold human rights, promote development and prevent the spread of violent extremism.

An armed militant group attacked several villages in northern parts of the province between 6 and 8 November, brutally killing more than 50 people, abducting several women and children and burning down homes.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the humanitarian situation in Cabo Delgado province deteriorated in 2020 on the back of an escalating conflict.

This is compounded by a fragile situation of chronic underdevelopment, consecutive climatic shocks and recurrent disease outbreaks.

Increasing number of attacks by non-state armed groups, particularly impacting the northern and eastern districts of the province, have caused massive and multiple displacements, disrupting people’s livelihoods and access to basic services.

More than 355,000 people are estimated to be internally displaced in Cabo Delgado, and its neighbouring Nampula and Niassa provinces, as of the end of October 2020, with numbers said to be rising by the day.

The violence, displacements and consequent loss of livelihoods are also increasing food insecurity in Cabo Delgado where over 710,000 people are facing severe hunger, including displaced persons and host communities.

East Africa News

Militants Ambush, Kill 25 Mozambican Soldiers

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Villages in Mozambique's northern region grapple with faceless jihadists

No fewer than 25 members of the Mozambique Defence Armed Forces (FADM), including a colonel and a major, died in an ambush by Islamist militants in Matambalale village in the district of Muidumbe, local media reports have said.

According to reports, 15 others were injured in the ambush.

A group of military personnel were on manoeuvres in that region when the incident happened on Sunday, according to local media.

The victims were part of a group sent to that district to reinforce security after last week’s attacks where homes were set ablaze and residents killed.

The army has not been available to confirm or deny the reports.

The three-year insurgency has killed more than 2,000 people and displaced about 500,000 others in Cabo Delgado, according to official statistics.

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East Africa News

Lightning Kills Four In Mozambique

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No fewer than four people have been killed by lightning strikes in Mozambique’s western province of Tete, the Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) announced on Wednesday.

News Central reports that Tete shares a border with neighbouring Malawi.

According to the institute, the victims include an elderly woman and a three-year-old child. One other victim was seriously injured and a residence set ablaze.

The incident follows a rainstorm accompanied by strong winds that left a trail of destruction in southern Mozambique.

Tete’s National Disaster Management Institute delegate, Alex Angelo, said the torrential rain also caused damage in Maputo province on Tuesday and early Wednesday morning.

He added that thunderstorms, wind and heavy rain brought down trees and power poles and damaged public infrastructure in the districts of Matola, Boane and Marracuene.

The storm also destroyed homes, uprooted trees and electricity poles and blew away the roofs of some schools and a local prosecutor’s office.

The destruction occurred mainly in four districts within the province.

The meteorological authorities predict the bad weather may continue for four more days.

The situation is likely to cause flooding in the cities of Beira and Dondo, which were devastated by cyclone Idai last year, and cause erosion in Chimoio.

Meteorologist Acacio Tembe says the torrential rains are beginning a week earlier than expected and they will continue for long.

He added that the rains may cause the flooding of the Buzi and Pungue rivers.

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East Africa News

Tigray: Ethiopia, U.N Reach Agreement On Provision Of Aids

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The Ethiopian government and the United Nations (U.N) have reached an agreement on the provision of access to humanitarian aids.

This was revealed by U.N officials on Wednesday, as they claim that the Ethiopian government has agreed to the provision of aids in Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital.

Ethiopia and Tigray, a powerful region in the north of the country, have been at loggerheads since the 4th of November.

The Ethiopian government accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of destroying public properties and wreaking a havoc on the state.

This led to battles between the giant of the Horn of Africa and the rebellious Tigrayan forces.

The UN, through its refugee agency, warned about the lean supply of food to the more than 100,000 refugees in Ethiopia. At least 46,000 Ethiopians have also taken refuge in neighbouring Sudan, where they are short on food supply, according to the U.N.

Read also: UN Seeks $147m Support For Ethiopians In Sudan

Also affected in the food crunch are refugees in Eritrea, Ethiopia’s closest neighbours.

African envoys had called for a truce amid the Ethiopian government’s rejection of mediation from the international community.

Mister Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia said on Monday that Mekelle has been captured, as he revealed that no civilian was hit in the process.

His claims were however rejected by the leader of the TPLF, Debretsion Gebremichael who claimed that the Ethiopian government hit civilians in its onslaught on Mekelle.

The TPLF has refused to back down from its conflict with Ethiopia, denying that the battle is not over, contrary to the claims of Mister Ahmed.

Ethiopia is gearing up for its election in 2021, with political matters forming a part of the reasons for the ongoing conflict.

Mister Ahmed postponed the Ethiopian elections in August, citing COVID-19 as the reason for the decision. The TPLF has accused the Prime Minister of illegally leading government by buying himself more time through postponement of the election.

The TPLF ruled Ethiopia for 27 years before the emergence of Mister Ahmed in 2018.

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