Faizel Patel – 04/06/2020
Amnesty International says Cabo Delgado is the “Cradle of Mozambique” and occupies a special place in the history of the liberation struggle in country because this is where the strife for freedom began.
Cabo Esquecido (Forgotten Cape) has been affected by land dispossession, impoverishment, war, natural disasters and human rights violations, which are inflicting untold suffering on the population with no end in sight.
Daily Maverick reports that the province’s nickname, Cabo Esquecido suggests, most of the region has received little attention from central government since independence in 1975.
It’s believed that for 40 years, the government has failed to protect, promote and fulfil the economic and social rights of the people of Cabo Delgado.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Amnesty International’s David Matsinhe says when Mozambique gained independence; Maputo became the focal point while Cabo Delgado was forgotten.
“That region became practically forgotten. It is an area that is predominantly Islamic. In the past two years, there have been a few natural disasters that have taken place in the area that have actually exacerbate the suffering of the people in the area.”
Matsinhe says that after 40 years of absence, the government now wants to present itself to the rural communities of the province for the first time following the discovery of vast reserves of natural resources in the province.
“With the discovery of all these minerals, the government is coming in, but it does not come with schools, infrastructures. It does not come with benefits for the people at all. It comes to assist multi-national companies, mining companies to expropriate land for mining projects.”
He says that while the government is conducting offences against terrorists, they are also committing acts of human rights violations, which further alienates the people of Cabo Delgado.
Matsinhe says the Islamic community has distanced itself from the attacks and alerted authorities.
Listen to the interview with David Matsinhe