Cabo Delgado: "Displaced people should only return when the Government recommends".

Cabo Delgado: “Deslocados só devem regressar quando Governo recomendar”

The displaced people from Cabo Delgado, in the north of the country, should only return to their places of origin when the government recommends it, after security has been guaranteed, the President of the Republic, Filipe Nyusi, said on Saturday.

"We have been advising the people to make the decision to return to their area of origin only when it is properly recommended," the head of state said.

Nyusi was speaking during the commemorations of the Day of the Armed and Defense Forces of Mozambique (FADM), in Pemba, capital of Cabo Delgado, a province hit by an armed insurgency four years ago.

"Come back when the authorities advise, because we want to stabilize the area made free of these terrorists," he stressed.

Mozambican forces with support from Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have been regaining ground from the rebels in the northern districts of the province since July.

Filipe Nyusi on Saturday called several times for "vigilance" to the entire population, as "terrorists are on the run" and taking refuge "in other areas".

"They might even flee to other provinces. Let there be vigilance. Our call is for total vigilance," he reiterated.

While the north of the province is experiencing increased security, unknown armed groups attacked villages and vehicles in the southern districts on Thursday, causing at least four deaths, according to local witnesses to Lusa.

Paul Kagame, Rwandan President, was the guest of honor at this Saturday's celebrations in Pemba and reiterated his willingness to continue working with Mozambique, following his speech on Friday, upon arrival.

"We can't be here forever, because the problems won't last forever either," he told journalists, adding that as long as necessary there will be cooperation "with Mozambique and other countries."

"At each step we evaluate what needs to be done" and the duration of the Rwandan mission in Mozambique "will be a natural decision as progress is made," he stressed.

Already on Friday, Kagame had said before his troops deployed in Cabo Delgado that "the task that will now begin is to keep [safe] the areas already liberated to allow the reconstruction and the return of the populations."

Cabo Delgado province is rich in natural gas, but terrorized since 2017 by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.

Lusa Agency

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