Five men suspected of belonging to the insurgent group were captured the week before last in Machova, Macomia district, after they claimed to be passing through on their way to Pemba, the provincial capital of Cabo Delgado.
The suspicion against the men, who were carrying backpacks, started when they asked people at Machova market, 1.5km from Macomia town, about the route they should take in order to reach Pemba, a local resident told Zitamar News.
The locals were surprised, and questioned where they were coming from and why they did not know the well-travelled road to Pemba, the source said.
The travellers replied that they were coming from Mucojo, where they had fled from an insurgent base, but suspicion increased when the people saw that they were carrying juice and biscuits in their backpacks, suggesting that they were prepared for the journey.
Following this, the population decided to refer the men to the local police station, added the source, who said he did not know how the case ended from there.
Meanwhile, last week, an unspecified number of insurgents were killed by government forces near Pangane at the farm of the general and veteran Alberto Chipande. The insurgents were surprised by government troops while they were roasting meat from cattle slaughtered on the farm. According to a source in Mucojo, another group of insurgents was killed in the area of the Tibamawe lake, between the villages of Nambo, Nacutoco and Nfunzi.
The operations are part of the government forces' ongoing offensive aimed at insurgent bases in and around Macomia district. The offensive aims to secure the district, which many civilians have returned to.
On Monday, district administrator Tomas Badae was seen with a team of foreign technicians visiting several buildings destroyed by insurgents in that area, a Macomia resident told Zitamar.
At the end of the rounds, the team explained to the people of the Nanga neighborhood of the district capital that they were surveying the damage and would be responsible for the rehabilitation process of public institutions.
At the meeting, the source continued, the population asked if the gesture was a sign of the end of the attacks, and one of the group members replied that they only had the mandate to assess the damage and then do the reconstruction of the infrastructure.
A Macomia district government official told Zitamar News that the team is part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and that in addition to visiting Macomia village it held meetings with government members and other actors in Pemba.
The UNDP did not respond to Zitamar’s attempts to confirm its visit to the district.
This article was produced by Zitamar and Mediafax under the Cabo Ligado project, in collaboration with ACLED. The contents of the article are the sole responsibility of Zitamar News.