Over one hundred civilians have fled the village of Pangane in the Macomia district of Cabo Delgado as insurgents attempted to kidnap and coerce locals into joining their ranks, local sources told Zitamar.
The exodus began on 20 September when insurgents arrived in the village and abducted around 30 civilians, including the chief of the fishing community. One source claimed that the insurgents appeared in military uniform and attempted to reassure the villagers there was no need to run and they were not there to kill anyone. There were no verified reports of casualties at the time of publication.
Insurgents attempted to recruit 100 men and 100 women and take them into the forest, a local source told Zitamar.
Local authorities have ordered civilians to evacuate Pangane and everyone except fishermen have been instructed to leave the nearby village of Mucojo.
Most fled to Macomia district headquarters approximately 50km away, while others arrived by boat on Quirimbas island.
Pangane has been regularly visited by insurgents since March, who have mostly come to buy supplies and have largely refrained from violence against civilians there. Despite the presence of a military garrison at Mucojo, security forces have rarely fought the insurgents at Pangane, allegedly due to an unofficial truce whereby the military hold back as long as the insurgents do not harm civilians, according to a local source.
This article was produced by Zitamar News under the Cabo Ligado project, in collaboration with Mediafax and ACLED. The contents of the article are the sole responsibility of Zitamar News.