Mozambique, Tanzania pen deals to fight terrorism

Samia Suluhu

Tanzania President Samia Suluhu.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

Leaders of Mozambique and Tanzania said on Wednesday they had signed defence and security deals aimed at fighting terrorism and crime along their shared border.

No details were released about the agreements, which were signed during a visit to Maputo by Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

A deadly insurgency erupted in northern Mozambique, near the Tanzanian border, five years ago. 

It has killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands.

But life now was "gradually returning to normal" after thousands of foreign troops from several African countries were deployed more than a year ago to quell the unrest, said Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi.

"The enemy is now operating in small groups trying to descend into the southern districts," Nyusi said during their talks. 

President Hassan said as the two neighbours share a "very long" boundary, "we need a good security system in which we can protect our border".

"We have been seeing... cross-border crimes (and) terrorism," she said.

Nyusi on Tuesday toured the recovered port of Mocimboa da Praia, previously the de-facto headquarters of the jihadists.

In October 2017, about 30 armed men launched a dawn raid on three police stations in Mocimboa da Praia -- marking the start of the insurgency.

Since then, more than 4,258 people have been killed according to conflict tracker ACLED, and 820,000 have fled their homes.

Mozambican forces, backed by Rwandan troops, said in August last year that they had driven out the militants occupying the port.