A Catholic bishop has deplored the world’s indifference to escalating extremist violence in northern Mozambique, where multiple churches have been burnt, people beheaded, young girls kidnapped, and hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the violence.
Bishop Luiz Fernando Lisboa of Mozam-bique’s Pemba diocese has been an outspoken advocate for the needs of the more than 200,000 people who have been displaced by the violent insurgency.
In June there were reports that insurgents had beheaded 15 people in a week. Yet the bishop said that the crisis in Mozambique has largely been met with “indifference” from the rest of the world. “The world has no idea yet what is happening because of indifference,” Bishop Lisboa said in an interview with Portuguese media on June 21.
“We do not yet have the solidarity that there should be,” he told LUSA news agency.
During Holy Week this year insurgents perpetrated attacks on seven towns and villages in Cabo Delgado province, burning down a church on Good Friday, and killing 52 young people who refused to join the terrorist group, the bishop told Aid to the Church in Need. More than 1,000 people have been killed in attacks in northern Mozambique since 2017, according to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. Some of these attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State, while others have been carried out by the homegrown Ahlu Sunna Wal extremist militant group, which has been kidnapping men and women.