Maputo (Mozambique), 30 March 2021 – Recent terrorist attacks in the northern region of Mozambique, including those committed last week in the town of Palma as well as reports of heinous crimes commited against civilians including beheadings, have shown the urgent need for the international community to join forces to support Mozambique in addressing the growing threat of terrorism in the country.
In light of these worrying trends and responding to this urgent need, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany have formally recommitted their support to Mozambique this week, to provide Mozambican criminal justice officials with the tools they need to counter this growing menace and to bring these perpetrators to justice.
UNODC and Germany began their joint support for Mozambique in 2020, through a counter-terrorism project that enabled national criminal justice officials to acquire new knowledge and skills to effectively investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate terrorist offences and identified areas for further assistance including to support inter-agency collaboration to bring together all Mozambican agencies working on counter-terrorism. This new project will build on this assistance, supporting Mozambique to address these gaps and providing training to those officials working directly on terrorism issues including those based in affected areas in Northern Mozambique.
During the signing ceremony of the project, Mr. Cesar Guedes, UNODC Representative to Mozambique, highlighted that “UNODC continues to be grateful to the Government of Germany for its support and partnership to assist Mozambique in its fight against the locally-based armed group, Al-Sunnah Wal-Jamaah (ASWJ) through UNODC’s Maputo Roadmap of Assistance endorsed by the Government of Mozambique.”
His Excellency, Mr. Lothar Freischlader, German Ambassador to Mozambique thanked UNODC “for its long-standing work towards supporting Member States, including through its field offices, to provide direct support to countries in need, such as Mozambique. Germany is pleased to be part of these efforts in supporting Mozambique to restore peace and hold those responsible for these crimes to account.”