Cabo Delgado, the northernmost province of Mozambique, has been going through a living hell ever since October 2017. In a series of over 600 brutal attacks in nine separate districts of this northern region by armed insurgents, who claim allegiance to the Islamic State, and also in the counter-attacks by the national security forces, it is estimated that over 2000 people have been killed, while over 310,000 others have been forced to flee their homes.

The most recent massacres by the group calling itself “Islamic State in Central Africa” (ISCA) are just now coming to light: last Sunday these alleged jihadists are reported by local sources to have attacked the small town of Muidumbe and beheaded and dismembered the bodies of dozens of people in a local football stadium. And reports have also come through of the massacre of over 15 children and young people, along with their adult “tutors”, who were preparing them to take part in the traditional initiation rites of the Makonde tribe.

“It seems as though they are trying to evict the entire population of the northern part of Cabo Delgado province, expelling the ordinary people without the slightest vestige of compassion”, Sister Blanca Nubia Zapata explained to the international Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation ACN International. She was speaking from Pemba, the capital of Cabo Delgado Province.

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