Mozambique insurgency is getting struggled by a coalition of Rwandan and Mozambican troops. The port of Mocimboa da Praia was the last rebel’s stronghold and was retaken in April 8, by government forces. Nevertheless, the conflict caused a dramatic humanitarian crisis and the presence of terrorists with amphibious capacity in the region remains a threat for the shipping industry.
ISIS in Mozambique
From mid-2018, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) launch an insurgency and became active in the province of Cabo Delgado, North East of Mozambique. ISIS used to settle a local jihadist fundamentalist group called AL Shabaab.
The terrorists launched several attack and committed mass beheadings. They seized in August 2020 the town of Mocimboa da Praia, one of the most important ports on the northern coast, attacking by land and sea.
A threat to shipping
The insurgents have shown a real capability to conduct amphibious attacks, causing a real issue for navigation along Mozambique coasts.
Cabo Delgado is the north gate to the Mozambique Channel. It is more than 30 % of the world’s tanker traffic transiting through this area. There is a true risk to see the region becoming a safe place for piracy, a good opportunity for terrorists get funds.
Furthermore, the area is also known to be one of Africa’s biggest gas fields. The attacks from the Mozambique insurgency forced Total, a French company, to resume its project of LNG offshore planned closed to the town of Palma. A big loss for the local government and the company.
Mozambique insurgency caused a humanitarian crisis
Since the beginning of the conflict, over 2 800 people died and more than 800 000 tried to escape from the region by any means, including boats and ships.
The non-governmental organization (NGO) Human Rights Watch reported several testimonial of dramatic condition on board of these boats. One of them is from Hadja,22, who was seven months pregnant during her journey: “ the boat owner charged 3.000 meticals (US$48) for each person. We spent 12 days at sea, moving from island to island, before reaching Pemba. On the sixth day, I started to feel a lot of pain and bleeding. The woman in the boat helped me deliver my baby, who was very weak and small. He died.”