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Russia offers counter-terror intelligence support; Weather warning for southern Mozambique

Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 17 November 2021


  • Today: Mozambique Stock Exchange, BVM, award ceremony in Maputo
  • Tomorrow and Friday: Crescendo Azul conference in Vilanculos, which president Filipe Nyusi will attend

The latest from Zitamar News:

Cabo Ligado Weekly: 8-14 November

  • Pro-government forces battle insurgents across Cabo Delgado conflict zone
  • Islamic State Central African Province (ISCAP) claims responsibility for 18 attacks
  • President Nyusi shifts control of local militia to defence ministry from police

From the Zitamar Live Blog:

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Warning of heavy wind and rain for southern Mozambique
INAM warns that the severe weather will arrive late on Thursday 18 November, and will affect much of Maputo, Gaza, and Inhambane provinces

The best of the rest:

  • Russia offers counter-terror intelligence support (Notícias)
  • UN calls for special court to judge human rights violations in Cabo Delgado (Lusa)
  • Terrorists kill 11 people in Mueda and Macomia (Carta de Moçambique)
  • Authorities identify 925 points of illegal mining in Mozambique (AIM, AfricaNews)
  • Security on the border with Mozambique has been restored, says Tanzanian president (CGTN Africa)
  • 8 suspects in Lebombo Border passports scam appear in court (Club of Mozambique, News24, eNCA, SABC)

Russia offers counter-terror intelligence support (Notícias)
Russia is ready to support Mozambique's counter-terrorism operations by cooperating on intelligence, senior Russian diplomat Mikhail Bogdanov told the Mozambican government on a visit to Maputo yesterday. Bogdanov, a deputy foreign minister and president Vladimir Putin's special envoy for Africa and the Middle East, met with prime minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosário and foreign minister Veronica Macamo during his visit. He also invited Mozambique to send a representation "at the highest level possible" to the next Russia-Africa summit, which is due to take place in 2022, three years after the first summit in 2019.
The most recent initiative saw the paramilitary Wagner Group dispatched to Cabo Delgado and was almost a complete fiasco. It is still unclear if this was an official initiative or if the move by president Vladimir Putin was specially requested by president Filipe Nyusi.

UN calls for special court to judge human rights violations in Cabo Delgado (Lusa)
The United Nations is calling for the creation of a special court to judge cases of human rights violations in Cabo Delgado, news agency Lusa reports. The court should contribute to the "safeguarding of human rights" and try terrorists and members of the armed forces who have committed crimes against fundamental human rights, stressed the director of the UN human rights monitoring forum in Mozambique, Sousa Chele. There have been several reports of human rights violations in the conflict in Cabo Delgado, committed by terrorists and government forces, reads the report by Lusa.
This proposal is particularly concerning for the Mozambican government, which has always denied that its security forces in Cabo Delgado have committed any crimes during their military operations.

Terrorists kill 11 people in Mueda and Macomia (Carta de Moçambique)
Terrorists killed 11 people in the districts of Mueda and Macomia, Cabo Delgado province, this past Friday and Saturday. According to newspaper Carta de Moçambique, four people were murdered in Mueda and seven in Macomia. In Mueda district, a group of 20 armed men invaded Nachitenje village on Friday morning and killed three civilians. The group took several hostages, looted food products and burned homes, the newspaper reports. In Macomia, seven people were murdered in Najaba village on Friday night including a child and an elderly person. On Sunday, four bodies were found in a nearby farm. The terrorists also burned houses and looted food products.
There are conflicting reports on the number of victims reported in the attacks. Zitamar sources confirmed that insurgent activity took place but said actual figures were more modest than reported.

Authorities identify 925 illegal mining sites in Mozambique (AIM, AfricaNews)
There are at least 925 active illegal mining sites in Mozambique, an official at the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy’s mining inspectorate, Fernando Maguene, said on Monday. Nampula and Cabo Delgado provinces had the highest number. Maguene was speaking in Nampula at a seminar discussing the implementation of petroleum and natural-resources legislation in the area, with the purpose of ensuring "that these [resources] generate tax revenue to boost the development of local communities and the national economy.” So far this year, 14 tonnes of different types of minerals such as gold, rubies, and garnet, among others, were seized in mining-intensive provinces including Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Manica, Maguene said. Last year, he added, “21 kilos of gold were sold in Cabo Delgado, the equivalent to MZN48m ($752,000). In Nampula, quantities of minerals corresponding to MZN12m were sold. As for fuel, this year alone, 12,000 litres were seized.”
These figures should be taken with a grain of salt, as there is no independent source for or professional audit on the quantities seized. In the past, very low-value commercial quartz, which is widely used in civil construction and appears near ruby deposits, has been classed as a semi-precious stone.

Security on the border with Mozambique has been restored, says Tanzania’s president (CGTN Africa)
Tanzania's president, Samia Suluhu, said that security has been restored on the border with Mozambique, Chinese broadcaster CGTN Africa reports. The statement comes after insurgents from Cabo Delgado carried out attacks in Tanzania's Mtwara villages. "This group has been attempting to carry out attacks in our villages of Mtwara, causing deaths, injuries, and [the] destruction of property. But our special forces deployed along the border have helped strengthen security and restore tranquility in the troubled region,” the president said. In October 2020, more than 300 armed insurgents attacked the Kitaya village, in Mtwara, killing more than 20 people, CGTN reports.
Insurgents have stepped up their attacks on the Mozambican side of the border in the past few weeks, namely at Nangade district where the Tanzanian force within SADC has been deployed.

8 suspects in Lebombo Border passports scam appear in court (Club of Mozambique, News24, eNCA, SABC)
Eight people appeared in the Komatipoort Magistrate's Court on Monday 15 November accused of allegedly issuing illegal temporary residence permits and work permits at the Lebombo border post between South Africa and Mozambique to immigrants from Mozambique, eSwatini, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Three of the suspects were arrested during a raid on the Lebombo border post in Mpumalanga on 12 November. The raid was the culmination of an 18-month long joint operation led by members of the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team in Mpumalanga with the Department of Home Affairs’ Anti-Corruption Unit. Six of the suspects are immigration officials and one is a Mozambican citizen — a hawker who acted as an agent. All of the accused were granted bail, except the Mozambican citizen. The case was postponed to 3 December 2021 for further investigation.

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