Speaking to UN News in New York about the situation in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, where the country’s forces are operating with the support of other African nations, Minister of Foreign Affairs Veronica Macamo highlighted reconstruction and development efforts and international partnerships.
Mozambique is committed to combining armed intervention, reconstruction and development to combat terrorism in Cabo Delgado province in the north of the country, Minister Macamo said.
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Young people, women and displaced people have priority as beneficiaries of these initiatives.
Cabo Delgado reconstruction program
The head of Mozambican diplomacy told UN News she had highlighted advances in areas where terrorist groups operated in a meeting with United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed in New York.
“We have the combat aspect, or armed actions against terrorism, and we also have mitigation actions,” Macamo said. “Because we have displaced populations, when they return, they have to find conditions for them to be able to move forward with their lives. In addition to killing, terrorists destroy hospitals, schools and almost everything. It is necessary to create these conditions. In Cabo Delgado, we have a reconstruction program underway.”
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UN agencies have been working in these regions supporting people fleeing the conflict since 2017.
It is estimated that 1.4 million Mozambicans have already been affected by the crisis and are in need.
“We start with the most sensitive sectors,” the minister continued. “We are talking about schools, water, which you cannot live without. We are talking about electricity and other conditions, so that people can move forward. But we are also talking about people who haven’t been in their usual places of residence for a long time. They need to be assisted in order for their lives to move on.”
Minister Macamo told UN News that terrorist attacks in the area, which is rich in natural resources, still happen at lower intensity and in a sporadic manner.
Macamo says that the groups act in small numbers, targeting the population. The deactivation of their bases involved security forces from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Rwanda.
A year and a half ago, the World Bank approved a $150 million credit line to support the Northern Mozambique Rural Resilience Project in parallel with crisis assistance.
On the development side, Macamo highlighted the importance of creating jobs to avoid radicalization caused unemployment and poverty.
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“We created ADIN, the Northern Development Agency. We are talking about the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Niassa. Actions must continue. Cabo Delgado is among these three provinces. It is true that Cabo Delgado needs an additional effort when compared to other provinces. But we have to look at that area as that designated for development,” Macamo explained.
The partnership with the World Bank seeks to improve the management of natural resources and the livelihoods of vulnerable communities in areas covered by the initiative in northern Mozambique.