Tanzania, Mozambique launch joint operations against insurgents

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Cabo Delgado region, Mozambique Photo - File
Cabo Delgado region, Mozambique Photo – File

Tanzania and Mozambique police chiefs will launch joint operations against militants linked to the Islamic State whose three-year insurgency recently spilled over the border between the two African nations.

According to a police statement, Tanzania’s Inspector General of Police, Simon Sirro, and his Mozambican counterpart, Bernardino Rafael, met on Friday in the southern Tanzanian border town of Mtwara.

The meeting comes a month after nearly 300 suspected Islamist militants crossed over from Mozambique and attacked Mtwara’s Kitaya village, killing an unknown number of people.

The two police chiefs also agreed to share information linked to the militants, according to a video clip of their joint press conference in Mtwara released by the Tanzania Police Force.

Rafael said on Thursday authorities had recaptured villages in the northern Mozambican district of Muidumbe from Islamist insurgents.

Sirro urged Tanzanians who fled their homes in villages bordering Mozambique following last month’s attack to return, saying the government has beefed up security in the area.

Jihadists based in northern Cabo Delgado, Mozambique’s gas-rich province have killed more than 2,300 people and displaced 500,000 people since the insurgency began, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project.

The 16-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC), a regional trading bloc, said it is committed to helping Mozambique combat the violence while nations including the U.S., France and Portugal have also offered assistance.

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