Maputo: THE United States government has expressed willingness to help Mozambique fight suspected Islamist groups that have been carrying out attacks in remote villages in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.
“We are available and would like to help Mozambique in this process [in combating the unidentified groups in the north of the country], as long as this is useful to the country,” Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Maputo Bryan Hunt reportedly told Lusa.
Hunt was speaking on the sidelines of a seminar co-organised with the African Centre for Strategic Studies in Maputo in the context of the United States-backed military exercises in Pemba, northern Mozambique.
The US-backed military exercise in Mozambique involves about 100 US military personnel, as well as the armed forces of Mozambique and of 15 other states.
“We already have several programs in the maritime field, and we would like to increase the level of cooperation between the two countries,” the US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission added.
Since October 2017, remote villages in the province of Cabo Delgado have been the target of armed attacks by unidentified groups, resulting in about 150 deaths among residents, alleged attackers and members of the security forces.
The violence in Cabo Delgado (2,000 kilometres from Maputo, in the far north of Mozambique, near Tanzania) has been ongoing since an armed attack on police in Mocimboa da Praia by a group from a local mosque preaching insurgency against the state, whose habits had been a source of friction with residents for at least two years.