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Insurgents march south towards Cabo Delgado provincial capital

The southern movement of insurgents through Quissanga district threatens the EN14 highway to Pemba.

Islamic State-backed insurgents in Cabo Delgado province have been observed marching south from Macomia district through Quissanga district since Friday, in a move which could threaten the security of vital roads to the provincial capital Pemba, local sources told Zitamar News. 

Insurgents began arriving from Mucojo village in Macomia to Dimbalika, near Namaluco, in Quissanga on 19 January, a source reported. On 23 January, insurgents were sighted approximately 20km further south, in Mussomero, 4km from the Quissanga district capital. The next day, they appeared in Nathuko, near the border with Metuge district. 

From Nathuko, insurgents are no more than a day’s march from the EN14 highway, which connects Pemba to inland mining areas in the districts of Ancuabe, Montepuez and Balama. 

Sidónio José, the Quissanga district administrator, acknowledged on Wednesday that insurgents met with locals near the district headquarters, but said no one was injured or killed.

Insurgents told locals their goal was to free fellow fighters locked up in Mieze prison in Metuge, a local source told Zitamar. The last time insurgents were active in Quissanga in October 2023, they also claimed they were going to Mieze but turned north back to Macomia before they reached Metuge.

This southern movement follows the capture of Mucojo from the Mozambican army on Sunday. Zitamar understands that as of Wednesday, it is yet to be retaken by security forces.

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.