In the port city of Mocímboa da Praia in northern Mozambique life is slowly coming back to normal. The city was liberated from jihadists a year ago.
Since August 2020 that the Al-Shabaab, an armed jihadist group affiliated with the Islamic State has been fighting in the predominantly Muslim province of Cabo Delgado.
Local trader, Najum Ntete, recounted his experience.
“When we heard the shots, I started to flee and went in the bush with my family, in the banana plantations not far away. When they arrived they destroyed the houses, they looted everything, as you see”, he said.
He added “what happened to me, it also happened to my neighbour on this side, to my neighbour on the other side whose house was also destroyed, and now we are suffering because we lack food, we no longer have ways to make a living”, lamented the trader.
It has been one year since the city was liberated from the extremists. Some are determined to fight instead of running away.
“I feel safe here in Mocímboa da Praia, I am from here, I was born here in Mocímboa da Praia, but if one day this conflict starts again in our district, I will stay here in Mocímboa da Praia, I will no longer run away, I will fight against them (the shebabs, ed.), and I will tell people not to run away”, said Lucia da Silva, a local resident in Mocímboa da Praia.
Since 2017 that the al-Shabaab have been involved in fighting in the region.
In 2020 the extremists finally succeeded in setting up a local base.