MOZAMBIQUE AND TANZANIA AGREE TO JOINTLY FIGHT EXTREMIST GROUP
Mozambican state media reported an agreement with neighbouring Tanzania to fight the growing Islamic extremism affecting both countries. Police chiefs from both countries met in the Tanzanian city of Mtwara to discuss a strategy on how to address increased violence that has claimed hundreds of lives in both nations. The two sides signed a memorandum to allow cooperation between forces to combat growing terror attacks. “We will have joint operations and exchange information in our endeavour to end terrorism in our border areas…I believe with this partnership, we will be able to finish the terrorists,” said Mozambican police chief Bernardino Rafael. Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado has been the target of increased attacks claimed by the Islamic State since 2017. The attacks have killed hundreds and displaced thousands more. The violence has spilt over into Tanzania, as a cross-border raid last month by suspected Mozambican jihadists killed an unknown number of people. “We have agreed on how our forces can work together to arrest these criminals,” said Tanzanian police chief Simon Sirro. As part of the agreement, 500 militants arrested in Tanzania will be sent back to Mozambique.
From a Christian perspective, the ongoing attacks, combined with persistent issues of poverty, natural disasters, and political differences, have caused the Mozambican government to struggle to provide adequate support to those affected. Previously, Christian organisations had been able to fill some of the support gaps, however, several attacks have targeted Christians, making it more difficult for religious aid groups to operate effectively in the region. Christian aid groups, both national and foreign, are working to provide life-giving aid such as food, shelter, and spiritual support to those impacted by the ongoing insurgency. Along with the most recent agreement with Tanzania, Mozambique is looking to accept aid from nations like South Africa, the US, and other regional nations. According to the Washington Post, international support for Mozambique was on the agenda of a meeting between coalition countries in November. Increased international cooperation could provide the Church in Mozambique and Tanzania the support needed to assist impacted communities in recovering from these attacks.
Pray with us for the following:
- For an effective, coordinated international response
- For the increased provision of aid to the thousands affected and displaced by the violence
- For the Mozambican and Tanzanian churches to continue to play a role in the healing of impacted communities