Quissanga and Quirimba Island retaken by Mozambique armed forces

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After being in the hands of Islamist insurgents for a number of weeks, Government forces in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province have retaken the town of Quissanga and nearby island of Quirimba.

It is not clear which armed forces, those of Mozambique, Rwanda or SAMIM (Southern African Development Community in Mozambique) were involved in retaking the area which lies a short distance to the north of Pemba, the provincial capital and chief port.

The action was announced on 19 March by the provincial governor, Valigy Tauabo, who said that that food and other essential supplies were being taken to the town and island to replace those looted by the terrorists.

There is an ongoing resurgence of activity from the insurgents after it had been thought the situation in the north of Mozambique was under control. Instead the terrorists have moved further south away from the presence of the combined military forces and are threatening areas previously considered safe.

As a result it is being reported there is now something of a rethink involving the withdrawal of SAMIM armed forces from the country, though no official announcement has been made.

Terrorist activity commenced in Cabo Delgado in October 2017 in the area of the small port town of Mocimboa da Praia (MdP), and spread gradually to a wider area culminating with the seizing and ransacking of MdP and the other small port town of Palma close to the Tanzanian border.

This activity brought a halt to construction of TotalEnergies’ liquefaction plant on the Afungi Peninsula near the town of Palma, which remains at a standstill to this day.

The eviction of the insurgents from the two port towns was only achieved with the arrival of armed forces from Rwanda, followed a short while later by the SADC Mission in Mozambique drawn from eight regional countries – Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.

Written by Africa Ports & Ships and republished with permission. The original article can be found here.