YOU (South Africa)
Young YOU: news of the week
900 000 people suffer hunger 700 000 forced to flee their homes
THE recent violence in Mozambique has left people homeless and many have died in the attacks that have hit the northern part of the country. The violent clashes, now known as the Battle of Palma because it was centred around the city of Palma, involved a group of Islamist rebels called Al-Shabaab (Arabic for “The Youth”), Mozambique security forces and private military contractors.
Much of the city’s infrastructure has been destroyed and many people, including South Africans, have been reported missing.
How did it start?
Mozambique has several areas that are rich in minerals, precious metals and stones. Cabo Delgado province in the north has particularly large deposits of minerals in the form of liquid gas but is one of the least developed parts of Mozambique.
People living in the province have low education levels, inadequate access to health services and poor nutrition, and fighting here has increased over the past few years.
Since 2017 thousands of people have been killed by elements who use violence to further their causes and are known extremists.
Insurgency (see Word of the Week) and attacks by well-armed rebels have increased and now also affect other provinces, such as Niassa and Nampula in the northeast.
The United Nations (UN), a global organisation that promotes world peace and better living conditions for communities around the world, has reported that more than 1,3 million people in the region are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Humanitarian crises are events that threaten the health or wellbeing, safety and security of a community or large group of people.
Such crises can include natural disasters like droughts, earthquakes and floods as well as civilian conflicts or a national emergency declared by the government.
The ongoing conflict in Mozambique, which is a poor and underdeveloped country, has destroyed livelihoods, disrupted marketplaces and increased the cost of living. It has also destroyed health facilities like clinics and hospitals which has resulted in more people contracting cholera, a deadly bacterial disease.
What is Mozambique’s government doing?
Mozambique’s leader, President Filipe Nyusi, has deployed the defence force and national police force to help restore order.
However, being a poor country, the army reportedly doesn’t have sufficient military equipment, weapons and fuel to successfully combat the rebels.
It’s been reported that talks have taken place between the rebels and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) – a body consisting of 16 African countries that promote economic development, peace, security and growth in the region – but so far the talks haven’t produced an agreement.