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The former Mozambican head of state, Joaquim Chissano, this Monday, 18 September, defended effective social cohesion in the country to avoid recruiting young people into the ranks of terrorist groups in northern Mozambique.
“We need effective social cohesion so that our young people and community members are not engaged in the terrorist cause,” said Joaquim Chissano, quoted by the Lusa news agency, during the national conference on “Peace, Security, Reconciliation and Development”, taking place in Maputo.
The former Mozambican statesman considered social cohesion to be a relevant element in the context of conflict and insecurity in the country, saying that the concept contributes to building resilience mechanisms in communities in the face of violence.
For Joaquim Chissano, Mozambique faces an enemy that is still hidden and does not present its demands, leadership or objectives. “This is a model of so-called hidden terrorism, where no agenda is presented, but there are continuous terrorist acts against the population and institutions,” said the former President of Mozambique.
The province of Cabo Delgado has been facing an armed insurgency for almost seven years, with attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.
On the ground in Cabo Delgado, the Mozambique Armed Defence Forces have been fighting terrorism since July 2021 with support from Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the conflict in northern Mozambique has already displaced one million people and caused around 4,000 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project.