JUSA Welcomes the News of Calm in Northern Mozambique | Press Statement
The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa (JUSA) welcomes the news that calm is being restored in the town of Palma in Cabo Delgado, after it was overran by armed insurgents in the past few weeks.
Though exact figures have not been available, the recent insurgency takeover of Palma is reported to have resulted in ‘dozens’ killed, with thousands more displaced. As a matter of perspective, in the past 4 years of the conflict, at least 2 400 people have been killed and nearly 750 000 internally driven out of their homes. Arson attacks have left houses and whatever existed of the poorly-developed infrastructure devastated, leaving the region largely cut-off and without communication.
Invariably, the long-brewing insurgency in Northern Mozambique has been characterised as Islamist-based with commentators trying to either draw parallels to, or suggest linkages with the Islamic State (ISIL), al Shabab and even Boko Haram.
Other analysts have taken a rather more circumspect approach, choosing to label the origins of the deadly insurgency as ‘mysterious’, and sometimes suggesting activities of criminal syndicates that thrive on a state of lawlessness, hence fomenting the turmoil in the beleaguered province.
Regardless of the source, the people of Cabo Delgado do not deserve suffering at the hands of any insurgents, security contractors and armed criminal gangs or for that matter, any ill-disciplined elements of government-backed security agencies.
JUSA condemns all atrocious and brutal attacks on innocent civilians and destruction of social amenities. Further, we deplore any opportunistic interests that stand in the way towards the restoration of order and security in Cabo Delgado. We therefore call upon all the countries to assist the sister nation of Mozambique, in forging an all-inclusive long-term peace and political stability, based on principles of equity, good governance and the upholding of the rule of law.
Inhabitants of the region have witnessed how commercial interests in the new-found resources of oil and gas have taken hold without clear indications that would assure the perpetually impoverished masses some direct benefit, through the improvement of their socio-economic conditions. It is therefore important to consider that the insurrection has largely taken root in a vacuum of good governance, where a sense of exclusion and marginalisation is a reality for the people of Cabo Delgado.
The simmering conflict in north Mozambique has presented a potentially region-wide risk that needs to be averted, in a responsible manner. What would not help is the internationalisation of the situation where competing interests from across the globe, make Mozambique and hence, Southern Africa become a new theatre of strife. Solutions to the conflict should therefore be guided by the Southern Africa Development Community, as the relevant regional body to which Mozambique belongs.
We pray for peace, law and order in Mozambique so that the people of the country can begin to heal and start to enjoy meaningful progress, derived from the dividends of resources the country has been endowed with.
Statement Issued by:
Ebrahim I Bham (Moulana)
08 April 2021