The provincial police commander in Cabo Delgado, Joaquim Sive, said his force had carried out a successful operation to control illegal ‘garimpo’, or artisanal mining, and the pillage of various natural resources such as gold and rubies across the province.
He said the ‘garimpeiros’ frequently had firearms – at times resembling an armed militia. Aside from the anti-garimpo operation, Sive said his force is preparing to supervise the peaceful running of municipal elections in the province’s four urban municipalities of Pemba, Mocimboa da Praia, Mueda, and Montepuez.
The police in Cabo Delgado, who are also tackling the Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamâ insurgents, have their hands full – but the question of armed garimpeiros could well be linked to that of the insurgency. A study conducted by Mozambican research institutions IESE and MASC earlier this year asserted that the insurgency is being funded by the export of illegally mined precious stones, as well as illegal timber. source: O Pais