Insurgents forced five civilians in the villages of Nangumbe and Matandane in Cabo Delgado’s Meluco district to cut off their dreadlocks on Friday as they were ‘unislamic’, local sources told Zitamar.
The civilians worked in the local mines and were threatened with death if they did not comply.
"[The insurgents] said ‘we don't want to kill any of our Mozambican brothers, but those of you with dreads must shave as this is not acceptable,’" said a source who took in gold miners at his house in Matandane, Meluco, after the incident.
The insurgents also claimed to be in control of several villages in the districts of Meluco, Macomia, and Muidumbe, including in the area around Miangalewa which is located along the N380 road.
Nyusi visits Mueda
Last Friday, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi spoke to members of the Local Force in Mueda district. He confirmed that insurgents had infiltrated Meluco and called on the Local Force to go after them.
Nyusi praised the commitment of the Local Force but acknowledged that they are facing a shortage of equipment, such as boots and uniforms.
The President said that the government was finalising the procedures to implement the recently approved law on the operation of the Local Forces, formally incorporating them into the Mozambican military. The National Defense and Security Council, which also met in Mueda last Friday, has endorsed the law, Nyusi added.