Mozambique’s Prime Minister, Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, has opposed calls to arm civilians in the gas-rich northern province of Cabo Delgado to combat Islamist insurgents in the region.

Residents in the region have always been requesting for guns to help the security forces.

The prime minister opposed the idea during a security meeting in the province’s capital, Pemba.

He said the move would be “dangerous and unsustainable”.

He insisted weapons should be in the hands of the “rightful people”, namely the defence and security forces and those they trust.

Mr do Rosario said civilians should have a hoe to cultivate the land and a pen to contribute to the country’s development.