Interior minister dismisses ‘rumours’ of hundreds of insurgents killed at Awasse


Mozambique’s interior minister yesterday dismissed as “rumours” reports of the country’s security forces inflicting significant losses on insurgents in Awasse in mid-October.

Various media reported last week that a joint force of the Mozambican security and defence forces, along with local military veterans, killed 270 insurgents on the weekend of 16-18 October, near the strategic crossroads of Awasse, on the road between the towns of Mueda and Mocímboa da Praia.

Carta de Moçambique said anonymous military sources told it that the incident took place, while Mediafax reported it based on a recording apparently of the veterans celebrating their victory, and claiming to have suffered no losses during the fighting. Notícias de Defesa, a website operated by unknown people which reports on the conflict with a distinctly pro-government line, said government security and defence forces had killed “at least 270 terrorists” in coordinated actions over the three days between 16 and 18 October.

Questioned by journalists after addressing parliament in Maputo on Wednesday, minister of the interior Amade Miquidade declined to confirm the reports — saying “they’re rumours,” and adding only that: “We are conducting operations at the moment in Cabo Delgado.”

For an analysis of the reporting around this incident, see this week’s Cabo Ligado Weekly, produced by ACLED in partnership with Zitamar News and Mediafax.

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