African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat has called for urgent and coordinated regional and international action against the festering security threat in northern Mozambique that has potential to spread to the rest of southern Africa.In a statement on Thursday, Mahamat condemned in the “strongest terms” the terrorist attacks in Mozambique’s mineral-rich Cabo Delgado region, “particularly the recent violence in and around the environs of Palma town” that has occurred since March 24.
He expressed “concern at the presence of international terrorist groups operating in southern Africa, and calls for urgent and coordinated regional and international action to address this new threat to our common security.”
“The African Union Commission, through its relevant organs, stands ready to support the region and its mechanisms to jointly address this urgent threat to regional and continental peace and security,” Mahamat said.
Armed fighters linked to the Islamic State attacked Palma last week, killing dozens of residents and forcing thousands others to flee the town for the provincial capital Pemba.
Palma is home to a multibillion-dollar gas project being developed by an international consortium led by French oil and gas giant Total.