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Social exclusion behind armed attack in Mozambique: Research

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- A Mozambican researcher said social exclusion is a main reason behind the sporadic armed attacks led by a group of self-proclaimed Islamists in the northern province of Cabo Delgado since last October.

The announcement was made on Tuesday in Maputo by political commentator and researcher Joao Pereira during the launch of a research report entitled "Islamic radicalization in northern Mozambique: the case of Mocimboa da Praia".

"According to our field research, we found that the young people who formed the group feel socially excluded, they feel excluded from the country’s policies," Pereira told the press.

Pereira said young people joining the group feel like having a new family with whom they can challenge the authorities.

He said the group has several units in various parts of Africa, including Cabo Delgado of Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and Somalia and there are spiritual leaders from the three foreign countries to train the members of the unit in Mozambique.

"Internally, armed youths were trained by the ex-agents of the Police of the Republic of Mozambique, who were expelled from the corporation and border guards," he said.

According to the report, the group does not have a clear manifesto or message, but everything indicates that Islam is not being followed properly and the money to finance its activities comes from illicit sources.

"They prohibit the formal education of children and replace it with a Quranic education, and change the attitudes of women towards clothing," says the report.

"Since they are in areas rich in mineral resources, they smuggle wood, ivory and rubies," said Pereira, adding that they also receive donations from inside and outside the country.

Earlier this month, more than 200 suspects related to the armed group have been charged by the provincial prosecutor of Cabo Delgado.


Mozambique: Africa Day celebration highlights fight against corruption

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- Mozambique on Monday launched a week-long celebration of Africa Day, which highlights the continent’s efforts on preventing and combating corruption.

The launch was witnessed by representatives from different African countries.

Mozambican foreign minister Jose Pacheco said this year’s celebration marks the initiative of African leaders in 2003 when they adopted the African Union (AU) Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption in Maputo.

"The selection of this theme comes from the recognition that corruption is a phenomenon that constitutes a barrier in the development of our country and for a harmonized implementation of Agenda 2063 for our continent’s development," Pacheco said.

According to the minister, the transformation of the African Union name from the previous Organization of African Unity was not a simple move but is part of a political strategy for the development of Africa adopting new objectives and perspectives.

Pacheco said that while the organization aimed at liberating Africa from its settlers, the union seeks to boost a sustainable social and economic development, a vision that is only possible based on a transparent and sustainable management of natural resources that Africa possesses.

The minister urged citizens to engage themselves in the fight against corruption as a means of contributing to the materialization of AU Agenda 2063 and for a much more united and peaceful continent.

"We need to guarantee that corruption doesn’t hinder efforts to promote good governance, social and economic transformation, and peace and safety of every state," added the minister.

Many representatives present said that corruption is among the core problems that African states are dealing with, not only between leaders but among ordinary citizens as well.

"There is lack of will to deal with the problem of corruption. It has become a way of living and it is one of Africa’s setbacks," said Nicholas Dube, Zimbabwean ambassador to Mozambique.

Celebrated in various countries on the African continent as well as around the world, Africa Day marks the founding of the AU’s predecessor, the Organization of African Unity, in 1963.


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