Wild lions and crocodiles have received recognition for killing ISIS insurgents fighting in Mozambique.
Wild animals living in the forest of northern Mozambique may have more experience killing Islamic militants than the pro-government forces currently fighting with the ISIS group.
The local police chief of the Quissanga district in Cabo Delgado, Bernardino Rafael, informed the villagers that in the fight against the jihadist fighters known as al-Shabab, the wild animals also contributed to the death toll of the insurgents.
"Some of them died having been hit by bullets from our forces, and others due to attacks by animals like snakes, buffalos, lions, and even crocodiles," said Rafael. The bodies of sixteen jihadist fighters were recently buried in the Quissanga district.
The regional forest is the hideout for the ISIS insurgents. Despite human encroachment and poaching, the forest is still the home for wild animals such as elephants, lions, and leopards, and the animal population is also quite large.
According to the British think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies, in 2017, ISIS attacked the oil-rich Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique and gradually became more vicious and terrorizing in 2020.
Islamic State jihadis in Mozambique & Democratic Republic of the Congo feature in latest "The Best Outcome is for the Pious" video, the 11th in a series of pledges to Baghdadi and growing presence in Africa. Mozambique and DRC feature prominently in recent ISIS claimed attacks pic.twitter.com/LgcpCqMveg
— jihadoScope (@JihadoScope) July 24, 2019
The extremists targeted the area to take advantage of the socio-economic problems and ethnic and religious marginalization from the national government in Maputo. ISIS aims to create an internal power struggle.
According to a report released last year by the UN, ISIS has been recruiting and "indoctrinating" children to fight in Mozambique. UNICEF spokesperson James Elder said he saw footage "apparently showing abducted children as young as five handling weapons and being indoctrinated to fight." He said this was a grave violation of international law and stressed that the children should be treated as victims.
“Using children in fighting is cruel, unlawful, and should never take place. Mozambique’s Al-Shabab should immediately stop recruiting children and release every child in their ranks.”@MausiSegun, Africa director https://t.co/o3dkIw7xRW pic.twitter.com/CIowpqPDpv
— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) September 29, 2021
Mozambique’s president, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, addressed the nation on national radio last month, confirming beheadings, abductions, and burned villages of Nampula province, where three attacks occurred in five days. He said defense and security forces were working with the support of Rwandan troops and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), an inter-government organization of sixteen African countries.
Insurgents attacked in #Chipene, #Memba district. At 11 am they killed 1 person in #Mulari & other people were kidnapped. At 8 pm at least 8 people were killed among them, 2 priests, a nun and a guard. Administrative Post, Hospital, primary and secondary school pic.twitter.com/3kfq8k1Eke
— Cabo Delgado (@DelgadoCabo) September 7, 2022
Over 950,000 people have left their homes for safety, and more than 4,000 have lost their lives in this conflict.