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CrisisWatch Mozambique

Improved Situation

Islamist militants faced major setback as joint Mozambican and Rwandan forces regained control of strategic Mocìmboa da Praia town and other key locations. In far north Cabo Delgado province, joint Mozambican and Rwandan forces early Aug launched large-scale offensive in Mocìmboa da Praia district, with intense fighting reported notably in and around Awasse and Mocìmboa da Praia towns 2-4 Aug. Mozambican and Rwandan defence ministries 8 Aug announced joint forces had regained full control of Mocìmboa da Praia town, under militant control since Aug 2020 and site of militants’ first attack in Cabo Delgado in Oct 2017. In following days, joint forces reopened Mocìmboa da Praia-Awasse road and pursued militants into thick forests around Mbau village, 50km south west of Mocìmboa da Praia, taking control of Mbau 20 Aug; 11 militants reportedly killed and some 100 hostages, mainly women and children, released. During their flight from Mocìmboa da Praia, Islamist militants 4-8 Aug reportedly attacked Mandimba, Chacamba, Nune and Quissama villages in neighbouring Nangade district; no casualty report available. Militants 16-20 Aug clashed with govt forces in Nangade district, notably in Litingina and Samora Machel villages; one civilian reportedly killed. In Macomia district, govt forces 10 Aug mistakenly killed two civilians in Mucojo area; militants 24 Aug killed ten fishermen in same area. In Muidumbe district, joint forces 27 Aug reportedly dislodged militants from their base near district capital Namacunde. U.S. 6 Aug put Bonomade Machude Omar, alleged “senior commander and lead coordinator” of Islamic State in Cabo Delgado province, on terrorist list. Southern Africa’s regional bloc SADC Standby Force in Mozambique formally launched 9 Aug; force will initially consist of 738 soldiers and 19 civilian experts in Cabo Delgado, far from 3,000 troops recommended by SADC technical mission in April. Meanwhile, some 900 former armed opposition Renamo forces 10 Aug claimed they had not received allowances – mandated under Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration process – for six months; Renamo opposition party leader Ossufo Momade 16 Aug called on govt and international partners to resolve situation. Nine high-ranking officers of Renamo Military Junta, Renamo armed dissident faction, demobilised 17 Aug in Sofala province (centre).
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Reports & Briefings

Stemming the Insurrection in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado

Also available in Português

In The News

8 Apr 2021
The question is whether [the insurgency in northern Mozambique] can be nipped in the bud at this juncture without spreading further. AFP

Piers Pigou

Senior Consultant, Southern Africa

Latest Updates

Event Recording / Africa

Insurrection in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado - Preventing a New Jihadist Front

Online event, in partnership with the South African weekly newspaper Mail & Guardian, to discuss how to prevent the Cabo Delgado insurrection from escalating into a new frontier for global jihadism. 

Podcast / Africa

The Insurrection in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and guest co-host Comfort Ero talk to Crisis Group’s Deputy Africa Director Dino Mahtani about the violence in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado region, Maputo’s response and prospects for a regional intervention.

Q&A / Africa

Understanding the New U.S. Terrorism Designations in Africa

The U.S. has designated two armed groups in the DRC and in Mozambique as terrorist organisations, claiming they are affiliated with the Islamic State, and creating potential legal peril for peacemakers who may deal with them. Crisis Group analyses the implications.