Pemba, 19 August, 2020 / 10:30 pm (ACI Africa).
Pope Francis on Wednesday, August 19 made a phone call to the Bishop of Mozambique’s Pemba Diocese, Luiz Fernando Lisboa expressing his closeness to him and the people of God under his care amid reported jihadist crisis in Cabo Delgado Province, which is within the Diocese of Pemba.
“Today, August 19, 2020 at 11, to my surprise and joy, I received a call from His Holiness, Pope Francis who comforted me greatly,” Bishop Lisboa said in a message published on his diocese’s Facebook Page, Wednesday, August 19.
He added referencing the Holy Father, “He said he is very close to me and all the people of Cabo Delgado and monitors the situation experienced in our province with great concern and has prayed for us.”
Cabo Delgado, the Northernmost Province in Mozambique has witnessed growing instability since October 2017 when an Islamist armed group known locally as Al-Sunna wa Jama’a (ASWJ) attacked a police station in Mocimboa da Praia district.
Since then, the group has reportedly carried out more than 350 attacks, killing at least 1,500 people and leaving over 200,000 others displaced and in need of humanitarian support.