Interview: Experts warn terror in Mozambique could spread to other Southern African countries

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 7, 2021
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JOHANNESBURG, April 6 (Xinhua) -- The terrorist activities in Mozambique could affect the neighboring countries and the region, said a South African security expert Tuesday.

Liesl Louw-Vaudran, a senior researcher with the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS), told Xinhua that attacks in Mozambique have been taking place since 2017.

The recent attacks by a terrorist group in Mozambique's town of Palma have severely affected the local population with reports of grave human rights violations, causing forced displacement, according to the UN.

"It (terrorism) could affect Southern Tanzania, Malawi and countries bordering Mozambique. It could affect the whole of Southern Africa because we can't have a terror threat in the neighboring country and region," said Louw-Vaudran.

She believed that some of the source of the problem is marginalization, poverty and people feeling that they won't benefit from investment in national resources like mining and gas.

Louw-Vaudran said some ungoverned areas like Cabo Delgado where the government has little control have posed some challenges.

She expected that Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU) would act fast for the root cause of the crisis has to be addressed by the continent.

"The immediate concern is the humanitarian crisis facing refugees and victims of Cabo Delgado. The neighbors and SADC have to urgently use all the tools that it has to assist with humanitarian situations. It looks as if there is some kind of military assistance as well in consultation with AU and United Nations (UN)."

William Mpofu, the research coordinator with the University of Witwatersrand Centre for Diversity Studies, told Xinhua that terror would scare tourists and investors which would negatively affect the economic growth.

"Violent acts of extremism and political fundamentalist will affect the economic life of the country. Tourism will collapse, national security will collapse and this will create an unfriendly violent climate for internal and external investment in Mozambique," he said.

Mpofu pointed out that terrorism will affect Mozambique's law and order, capacity to collect revenue and provide "normal functions" like service delivery to its citizens.

He said Africa is failing to contain terror which is evident in Nigeria, Somalia, Kenya and other parts of the continent. The terror in Mozambique could spread to other Southern African countries and the continent.

He urged the region, African countries and global partners to act fast to remove terror threats in the region.

The SADC will meet this week to discuss how to act as a region against terrorists in Mozambique. Enditem

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