Mozambique forces ‘take insurgent base’ in Quissanga — social media reports


Mozambique’s security and defence forces have been fighting suspected insurgents in the Cabo Delgado district of Quissanga, amid claims on social media that an insurgent base has been captured.

Egidio Vaz, believed to be an adviser to Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and one of his most fervent cheerleaders, and Nuno Rogeiro, a Portuguese commentator on the Cabo Delgado conflict who has become notorious for sharing misleading information about it on social media and Portugese television, both said on Facebook on Thursday that an insurgent base 1.6km from Messumero had been taken. Rogeiro later shared a map on Twitter, although he circled the village of Mussomero as the location of the camp — roughly 15km inland from Messumero, according to the map. Rogeiro called the camp ‘Camp 6’. Both men shared the same set of pictures on Facebook, taken from the air, which they claimed show Mozambican forces, and a helicopter operated by private military company, in action.

Map shared by Nuno Rogeiro on Twitter, who said: “Areas of operation signaled with red rectangles, main base (Camp 6) designated by red ellipse.”

Police spokesperson Orlando Mudumane did not answer calls from Zitamar News, while two defence ministry spokespeople both said they were unaware of the actions.

While the capture of a base has not been confirmed, there have been reports of government forces attacking areas nearby. Residents of Macomia, around 45km northeast of Mussomero as the crow flies, heard shooting or bombs on Tuesday coming from the area of Cagembe, according to a refugee from Macomia currently living in Pemba, who spoke with family members still in Macomia. Cagembe, a village roughly half way between Macomia and Mussomero, has been the location of an insurgent camp, though it was vacated earlier this month.

Elsewhere in Quissanga district, the residents of villages around Tapara and Tororo, west of the town of Bilibiza, were told to stay in their villages to avoid being fired on by helicopters operating in support of the Defense and Security Forces (FDS) on Wednesday, according to a source travelling through the area on the way from Macomia to Pemba.

The same source also heard testimony from people living near the ADPP junction on the E380 road, with the road that heads west to Bilibiza and Quissanga town, that armed men — thought to be insurgents — had been seen in the area.

Vaz, who has backed calls for extra-judicial punishment for journalists reporting on the conflict, and Rogeiro both wrote on Facebook on Thursday that the FDS had been in action at the 19 de Outubro village, next to the ADPP junction, and near Bilibiza and Mahate, further east in Quissanga.

They also said FDS were fighting insurgents in the village of Miangalewa, in Muidumbe district, further north in Cabo Delgado, which insurgents attacked more than a week ago and remained there at least until Thursday, according to sources in the area.

This article was produced by Zitamar and Mediafax under the Cabo Ligado project, in collaboration with ACLED

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