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'Mozambique govt constructed narrative that situation normalised, but it's not'

6 April 2021 1:55 PM
Tags:
Mozambique
Cabo Delgado
Palma

The International Crisis Group's Southern Africa senior consultant Piers Pigou says Mozambique situation 'is very serious.'

The situation in Cabo Delgado is extremely serious. The government is pushing out a narrative saying that the security situation around the town of Palma has been normalised.

Piers Pigou, Senior Consultant Southern Africa - The International Crisis Group

The government is claiming that it has dealt a blow to the insurgents killing large numbers, he adds,

We need to be very clear that this is a constructed narrative to create an aura of normalisation and it is a situation that is far from normal.

Piers Pigou, Senior Consultant Southern Africa - The International Crisis Group

He says the government has not released any detail on casualties whether those are insurgents or civilians, which is an indication of the limited control they have over the situation.

Whilst there is no longer fighting in the town of Palma, the insurgents have effectively moved back from those areas into the hinterland around the town and insecurity is the order of the day in much of the area in the province.

Piers Pigou, Senior Consultant Southern Africa - The International Crisis Group

He says many Internally displaced persons or IDPs are not accounted for.

A figure of 11,000 has been recorded by centres of those who have received assistance.

But tens of thousands are out there not receiving assistance.

Piers Pigou, Senior Consultant Southern Africa - The International Crisis Group

Pigou explains the history of the fighting over the past three years.

The Mozambique government has been sitting on its hands to a large extent as they try and resolve their own internal problems.

Piers Pigou, Senior Consultant Southern Africa - The International Crisis Group

They want to retrain and reequip their military in order to be able to take on the insurgency in a context where they need urgent security assistance as it stands right now.

Piers Pigou, Senior Consultant Southern Africa - The International Crisis Group

He says the military currently is not fit for purpose and he hopes an emergence of a proper strategy emerges soon from the SADAC meeting that starts on Wednesday in conjunction with other roleplayers.

There is a massive humanitarian crisis out there and we need to see a response from SADAC.

Piers Pigou, Senior Consultant Southern Africa - The International Crisis Group

Mozambique has been very clear it does not want foreign boots on the ground, but there is a growing sense of urgency.

Piers Pigou, Senior Consultant Southern Africa - The International Crisis Group

Listen to the interview with Piers Pigou in the audio below:




6 April 2021 1:55 PM
Tags:
Mozambique
Cabo Delgado
Palma

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