Two traders from Mueda, who are suspected of being buyers for the insurgents, were brought back to the town to be questioned by local police after they were captured with goods sailing from Pemba to Palma.
Zitamar News’ correspondent in Mueda was unable to confirm on Thursday whether either or both of the two men were still being detained at the district’s headquarters.
The traders were first detained at sea last week between Wednesday 13 and Friday 15 October, on the way to Palma, transporting products worth MZN400,000 ($6,200).
At the time of their arrest, the traders claimed they were intending to sell the goods at Palma market. But our correspondent says that Mueda police believe that the supplies were meant for insurgents in Palma.
People from Mueda typically go to Tanzania or to Nampula city to buy goods, and only go to Pemba to source cement for construction. The trip from Mueda to Pemba costs on average MZN900 ($14). There is another route via the Montepuez River, but it is even more expensive, takes longer and most people cannot afford it. The Macomia route, via N380, is yet to be fully repaired.
The vessel they were on was one of the three that Mozambican Television (TVM) reported as having been intercepted by Mozambican forces for sailing in prohibited areas, leading to the arrest of 150 people, including women and children and suspected terrorists. In the TVM report, FADM navy commander Isac Cabral explained that the seizure and detention "was the result of the work that the marines have done during maritime patrols,” and revealed the vessels "contained food products and people."
Zitamar’s correspondent in Mueda reports that there are fears that insurgents have infiltrated some towns in that northern district. Some residents in Eduardo Mondlane village have said they believe some of the insurgents are now living among the locals. The area hosts a settlement centre for people displaced by the insurgency.
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.