In Cabo Delgado, where alleged militants continue to wreak havoc on civilians, DHPI officials note that Christian and Muslim communities have been living in harmony for centuries “until one of the world’s largest deposits of liquid natural gas was discovered there.”
According to officials of the peace entity of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), local communities in the north of Cabo Delgado have also said that the agenda is to depopulate the northern coastal areas, to give prospectors and multinationals a free hand.
The DHPI officials narrate that in October 2014, the Mozambican government launched the 5th tender for prospecting for hydrocarbons, with a view to developing research work in fields located in the maritime areas of the Rovuma Basin, in the Zambezi River Delta and in the Angoche Basin, as well as in the part land from the areas of Palmeiras and around Pande-Temane.
DHPI says that non-governmental organizations in the area are suspicious of the project especially because “there is little transparency in the activities of extraction companies.”
The Catholic peace entity has spoken to sources who express fears that the conflict that affects the province of Cabo Delgado will reach Angoche, due to its resources, and due to its poverty and unemployment.
The organization notes that the coastal regions of Mozambique, such as Pemba, Ilha de Moçambique, Nacala and Nacala-a-velha, have been the target of recruitment for extremist groups.
Sources who spoke to DHPI have said, “We don't want Angoche to be a new stage for insurgents in Mozambique.”
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