A bill allowing local forces to participate in the conflict against jihadists in the northern Cabo Delgado province has been approved by Mozambique‘s parliament.
The army and its allies from Rwanda and the southern African regional bloc have been working with local militias to combat jihadists in the province.
The bill’s presenter in parliament, Defence Minister Cristovao Chume, acknowledged that the Mozambican army was insufficiently equipped to combat jihadist activities on its own.
In order to support the army “in combating and containing the spread of jihadist incursions,” he said it was urgent to establish local forces.
He said they would protect community settlements and public and private infrastructure, similar to strategies used in other jurisdictions where national security was compromised.
The local forces are made up of volunteer former combatants.