The High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs announced today that Brussels will “redouble efforts” to support security in Mozambique, following massacres reported in the last few days in the province of Cabo Delgado.
“Terrorist groups taking root anywhere in the world leave us all exposed. The EU will redouble efforts to support Mozambique in important regions of security and stability, ”wrote Josep Borrell on the social network Twitter, denouncing that“ more than 50 people ”died following a“ horrific attack ”in the country.
Several local and international media outlets, such as the BBC and The New York Times, have reported on several massacres that have occurred in the last few days in Cabo Delgado, in northern Mozambique.
These sources reported beheadings of more than 50 people perpetrated by elements of Islamic extremist groups, who allegedly belong to the self-styled Islamic State.
This attack was also denounced by the Commonwealth, which called for an investigation.
In a statement, the organization said it “is ready to provide all the support” it can to Mozambique to combat “violent extremism”.
“The attacks and reports of abductions of women, youth and children are an affront to fundamental human rights principles. The Commonwealth and all member states are in solidarity with the people affected and their families, ”the document reads.
Armed rebels who have been attacking Cabo Delgado since 2017, with increased intensity since the beginning of this year, made a last-minute assault on the district of Muidumbe, destroying several villages in the countryside.
Fleeing survivors reported the death of relatives to Lusa, as well as the loss of homes and other property.
Mozambican authorities have yet to comment, but the internet portal Pinnacle News, which presents itself as a network of community communicators, reported on Thursday that there were hundreds of beheadings on a football field used as an extermination site in the village of Muatide.
Without giving figures, Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for the United Nations secretary-general, told the Portuguese agency Lusa today that there is “information from sources on the ground” that are considered “reliable”, and point to a high number of deaths.
On Tuesday night (Wednesday in Lisbon and Maputo), UN Secretary-General António Guterres was “shocked” by the “recent reports of massacres perpetrated by non-state armed groups in various villages in the province Cabo Delgado, in northern Mozambique, including the beheading and abduction of women and children ”.
Armed violence is causing a humanitarian crisis with about 2,000 deaths and 435,000 people displaced to neighboring provinces, without enough housing or food – mainly concentrated in the provincial capital, Pemba.