Mozambican Parliament legalizes “local force’’

The revision of the law on Defense and Armed Forces of Mozambique (FADM) was approved, which legitimizes the action of the so-called “local force”, of ex-combatants who have supported the fight against terrorism in Cabo Delgado.
“The present proposal comes to legitimize the action of the local force that ‘mano a mano’ has been bravely fighting terrorists,” said Cristóvão Chume, Mozambique’s Defense Minister, in Parliament.
The revision of the law was approved by a favorable vote of the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), the parliamentary majority, while the opposition, the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) voted against.
For the Defense Minister, the approval of the law will allow for improvements in the “structuring, organization, and logistical assistance” to the local force, in addition to the Government being able to “improve its control,” ensuring the “respect and strict observance” of human rights by its members.
Cristóvão Chume clarified that the government is aware that the local force does not have “permanent presence” and, therefore, will continue to invest in the Defence and Security Forces and in the FADM to ensure conditions for “replacement” of the support provided by friendly forces – troops from SADC and Rwanda.
According to the governor, the local force was established to “strengthen the role of the Defense and Security Forces in combating and containing the spread of terrorist incursions, protection of community settlements and public and private infrastructure.
The designation local force began to be used in Mozambique in reference to groups of former national liberation fighters and their descendants who organized themselves to fight against the armed groups terrorizing the north of the country.