Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has sacked his army and air force chiefs as the country battles an Islamist insurgency in the north and a rebellion by a militia linked to the main opposition party.

A statement from the presidency on Thursday night did not give a reason for firing Maj-Gen Ezequiel Isac Muianga, head of the army, and Maj-Gen Messias André Niposso, head of the air force.

The president also sacked the commander and deputy commander of the Marechal Samora Machel Military Academy.

The deputy commander of the Higher Institute of Defence Studies was also relieved of his duties.

Mozambique has been battling the insurgency in the mineral-rich province of Cabo Delgado since October 2017. Half a million people are said to have been forced from their homes in the past year alone.

The al-Ansar al-Sunna group, locally known as al-Shabab, has been responsible for dozens of terror attacks which are estimated to have killed hundreds of civilians.

Amnesty International this month published a report that accused Mozambique’s army, private military contractors, and militants operating in Cabo Delgado of committing war crimes.