On 9 December, Education International’s Executive Board adopted a resolution on terrorism in Mozambique and the need for international support and relief for teachers and other victims. The Education International member organisation, the Organizaçao Nacional dos Professores (ONP), has reported the recent assassination of six teachers.
Terrorist attacks in Northern Mozambique have increased in recent weeks, causing more than 2,000 deaths and massive displacement, estimated at 350,000 persons, as well as the destruction of housing and infrastructure. Terrorists responsible for the attacks, who claim allegiance to the Islamic State, come from within the country, but also from neighbouring countries, elsewhere in Africa and from beyond the continent.
According to the ONP, violence has displaced 74,149 students and 1,486 teachers and 172 education institutions have been damaged or forced to close by the attacks.
Heads of State of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) held an emergency meeting recently, but no visible response to the insurgency has yet been seen in the ground.
In the concluding paragraphs of its resolution, the Executive Board:
- Calls on the Government of Mozambique, the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, and the international community to take urgent action to protect schools, educators, and students from attack, provide security and support for the victims of this carnage.
- Expresses its solidarity with the ONP, teachers, students, and others subjected to violence.
- Supports the provision of material assistance, including shelter, food, and clothing for displaced teachers and school supplies for students and appeals to member organisations to join in solidarity with the ONP.
Marième Sakho from Senegal and Manuela Mendonça of Portugal supported the resolution. They stressed the extreme violence and the constant danger of assassination of teachers as well as the damage to education. Sakho explained that the ONP has used up its resources in dealing with this emergency and has appealed for support from EI and its member organisations.