The director for Africa of the ACLED project, Jasmine Opperman, warned on Wednesday of the “mistake” of the Government of Mozambique in allowing rebels to occupy Mocímboa da Praia, pointing out that there are “free will” recruits.
“One of the biggest mistakes the Government made was allowing insurgents to occupy Mocímboa da Praia for a long period of time, because we have seen new recruits joining, and joining freely,” said Jasmine Opperman, from Armed Conflict Localization and Event Data Project (ACLED), during the virtual seminar “Maritime security can turn the tide against Cabo Delgado insurgents”, organized by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS Africa) .
The expert pointed out that “there is a perception” that recruitment is done through abductions, but that in the case of Mocímboa da Praia, a village in the province of Cabo Delgado, which has been the target of actions by fundamentalist Islamic rebels, “this is not the case ”.
Jasmine Opperman was concerned about carrying out training operations in Mozambican territory, given by foreigners.
“One of the information that is very disturbing is that the [extremist group] Islamic State sent a person to Mozambique, up to Cabo Delgado, to conduct training. It is one of the most disturbing aspects so far, ”said the investigator, a specialist in counterterrorism.
For Opperman, it is necessary to “understand what is going on” and not to ignore “the sudden increase in the sophistication of the insurgency”.
The expert stressed that there is a cause that “is not about greed”, but “an identity about a specific belief system to achieve certain goals”.
“There are combatants who are willing to die for the cause they are fighting for, and it is important to realize that,” he said.
Opperman also said that “internal cohesion” is being created through violence.
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