Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said that Zimbabwe is worried and closely monitoring the armed conflict in Mozambique where an Islamic insurgency has caused the deaths of more than 2 000 people and displaced over 300 000 people since 2017.
The extremist militant groups operating in Mozambique’s oil-rich Cabo Delgado Province have triggered panic in neighbouring countries, Zimbabwe included.
Speaking to Manica Post on the sidelines of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) strategic planning Workshop in Nyanga on Wednesday, Muchinguri-Kashiri said:
We are really worried about the situation prevailing in Mozambique, particularly in the Cabo Delgado region.
The situation is no longer affecting Mozambique only. We recently heard that they moved 50km into Tanzania and killed a lot of people there.
It means there is a provocation on another SADC country. That is worrisome to Zimbabwe since Mozambique is our lifeline. lt is a worry for us since they (the militant groups) are moving inland.
Mozambique is now approaching countries like the United States of America and France for assistance. We do not know how far they have gone in that direction.
Muchinguri-Kashiri, however, said Zimbabwe will not intervene in the Mozambican conflict unilaterally.
She said, whatever happens, the region – through the Troika Organ on Politics, Defence and Security – must come up with strategies so that decisions are made at that level.
Mozambique shares borders with Malawi, South Africa, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.