Mozambique president sacks defence minister


Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi on Wednesday sacked defence minister Jaime Neto, without giving a reason or announcing a replacement.

Neto was responsible for managing the country’s response to an Islamist insurgency in the country’s northernmost province of Cabo Delgado as part of his role.

“The President of the Republic, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi… dismissed through presidential order Jaime Bessa Augusto Neto from the office of the minister of national defence,” the government said in a short statement, without elaborating.

Neto could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokesperson at his former ministry did not immediately respond to inquiries about how to contact him.

Militants with links to Islamic State have in recent years stepped up attacks in Cabo Delgado, also home to blockbuster oil and gas projects worth some $60 billion.

Mozambique’s military was losing ground to the insurgency until it accepted foreign troops from regional bloc the Southern African Development Community and Rwanda, which together helped the country win back lost ground.

Neto’s sacking comes a day after Nyusi fired interior minister Amade Miquidade, again without giving a reason for the decision.