The attacks have intensified this year. Between March and June, insurgents seized numerous villages as well as the local capitals in the districts of Mocimboa da Praia, Quissanga, Muidumbe and Macomia. Photos posted online show charred ruins of homes and buildings and abandoned government buildings. Thousands of people have fled, by land and sea. Despite repeated attempts, Mozambique hasn’t managed to control the situation in Cabo Delgado. In May, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) recognized that the insurrection in Mozambique posed a threat to the entire region. But, for the time being, there hasn’t been any regional or international intervention.
In July, there were 250,000 internally displaced people in Cabo Delgado, double the number in March, according to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha). That represents close to 10 percent of the population of this province, which is home to 2.3 million people. Many of the displaced people fled to the coastal city of Pemba, which is the capital of Cabo Delgado. Many are staying with friends or family but their living conditions are precarious and they lack food.
"The countries wait until the last minute before turning towards this institution. They try other techniques first, like using private security companies, because no one wants to see this region categorized as a conflict zone,” he explained. Essentially, Mozambique engaged a private security company, whose helicopters are used in the fight against the insurgents.
Martin Rupiya also agreed that the military option alone wouldn’t be enough: “There is need for investment to create infrastructure, employment and restore hope".