Mozambique and Tanzania have signed a memorandum of understanding to join efforts in the battle against an escalating armed campaign by ISIL-linked fighters in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique’s northernmost province. The agreement, sealed by the two countries’ police forces during the weekend, includes the extradition of 516 fighters from Tanzania to its southern neighbour. The violence in gas-rich Cabo Delgado began in October 2017 when members of an armed group, which later pledged allegiance to ISIL, attacked police stations in the key port town of Mocimboa da Praia. Since then, more than 2,200 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced. Mozambique’s army has struggled to contain the fighters, who have regularly beaten back the country’s security forces and air support from a private military group to capture and hold key locations during violent raids. Emboldened, the fighters have recently expanded their sphere of operation north into Tanzania, crossing the Rovuma River that marks the border between the two countries to carry out raids on villages in Tanzania’s Mtwara region. Many of the recruited fighters are also thought to come from Tanzania, whose police said last week they had arrested an unspecified number of people for allegedly planning to join the armed campaign.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA