A South African and two Tanzanian nationals have been named by Mozambican prosecutors among the leaders of a jihadist group operating in the country’s northern gas-rich region.
The jihadist fighters have terrorized the remote communities with guns and knife attacks in the gas-rich and Muslim-majority Cabo Delgado region for more than a year with an intention of creating an independent state. The attacks have left over 100 civilians killed and thousands fleeing their homes.
In court documents made available by the prosecution highlighted that the group faces charges of murder, crimes against the state, inciting civil disobedience among a slew of other offences.
In October last year, legal proceedings began against some 200 suspected jihadists at a jail in the provincial capital of Pemba.
All suspects, except the South African, “confessed that the group intends with their armed actions to create instability and prevent the exploitation of natural gas in Palma, and later create an independent state
The prosecution named the South African as Andre Mayer Hanekom, 60, and the Tanzanians as Chafim Mussa and Adamu Nhaungwa Yangue.
Machetes, arrows and gunpowder were found at the home of Andre Mayer Hanekom, who has been operating a maritime business in Palma.