Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi says the region may face difficulties in eliminating terrorists who have changed tack and now escape to neighbouring countries.
In an interview with state-owned Rádio de Moçambique, President Nyusi said the problem facing Mozambique’s northern Province of Cabo Delgado has expanded into Tanzania where terror merchants now operate freely.
Mr Nyusi spoke after a meeting with his Tanzania counterpart Samia Suluhu Hassan Friday in Pemba, the capital of Cabo Delgado province that borders Tanzania.
Mozambique has been facing insurgency since 2017 when Al-Shabab rebels attacked numerous villages and destroyed property and infrastructure, including schools and health centres in Cabo Delgado province.
The group, which shares a name with Somali militant group, had not shown links to foreign forces before, although there had been suspicion Mozambique had become a hideout for those who fled a crackdown in Kenya and Tanzania.
The Mozambican leader admitted that Northern Mozambique is the latest haven for terrorists from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
"Terrorists are crossing the common border between Mozambique and Tanzania. Mozambique and Tanzania are interested in a more dedicated approach to the problem".
"We have seen that the enemy is improving their techniques. We want to study how our forces can deal with the enemy, with terrorism. We will soon improve our fighting forces," President Nyusi added.
The meeting aimed at discussing ways of strengthening the capacity to combat terrorism on the common border.
Tanzania is one of the countries supporting the SAMIM (SADC Mission in Mozambique).
“We came to Mozambique to reaffirm our commitment, we are going to work together, we have historical relationships,” President Suluhu said after a meeting with her Mozambique counterpart.
“Tanzania is part of SAMIM (SADC Mission in Mozambique). We have something that unites us at the moment, which are the common interests between the two countries” President Filipe Nyusi said as he hosted his Tanzania counterpart.
A fortnight ago, heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) agreed to extend its SAMIM by three months to help the southern African country fight against terrorism in a $29.5 m budget endeavour.
SAMIM has deployed 1,500 troops in the troubled Cabo Delgado province since July 2021.