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The government’s communication problem

A failure to explain what it is doing about the insurgency and kidnappings is damaging the state's credibility

President Nyusi hosted a meeting of the Attorneys General of Portuguese-speaking countries in Maputo today

Good afternoon. The weekend found President Filipe Nyusi in the unusual role of spokesman for the security forces tasked with fighting the Islamic State-backed insurgency in Cabo Delgado province (see below). The president took it upon himself to announce where the forces were going to mount operations, quite possibly in order to break the silence that has been coming from those forces recently. In that case, his words were directed as much at his own administrators and officials in the province as at ordinary people. 

The last couple of weeks have seen increased activities by the insurgents, which have destroyed the official claim that they were now confined to a couple of northern districts of Cabo Delgado. The insurgents have been able to move down the length of the province and to defeat the forces sent against them. Whatever the true nature of the threat, district administrators and other officials have been getting more and more alarmed. On the one hand, they have seen reports of raids and beheadings, and on the other, there has been little or no communication from government about what was being done to control this.

From the Zitamar Live Blog:

Zitamar Mozambique Live Blog
Islamic State Mozambique has published pictures of its ambush on Mozambican security forces near the village of Nahavara in the Mecufi district of Cabo Delgado province on 30 January. The photos show two burned military vehicles and captured weapons and ammunition. Other photos (not included) show the bodies of seven slain soldiers.

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