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FADM launches mission to destroy insurgent bases around the Messalo river

The Armed Defence Forces of Mozambique (FADM) launched an operation to find and destroy insurgent strongholds along the Messalo river on 1 January.

In a statement published yesterday, FADM claimed the operation, dubbed “Vulcão IV”, aims to eliminate insurgent groups that have used the Messalo river basin as a staging post for attacks in Muidumbe district and Macomia district west of Chai.

This area has been one of the insurgents’ principal areas of operations since July last year when FADM cleared the Katupa forest east of Chai in “Vulcão I”.

The most recent insurgent attacks in the area fell on the villages of Nampanha, Namande and Namacule in Muidumbe district, just over 15km north of the Messalo, on 30 and 31 December. At least two people were killed.

It was also on the dry bed of the Messalo that insurgents declared its allegiance to the new caliph in early December, as seen in pictures published on Islamic State social media.