31 July 2018

Mozambique: Unrest in Mozambique's Northern Cabo Delgado Stirs Unease

analysis

A nascent radical Islamist movement in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado Province bordering Tanzania has led to the imposition of a night-time curfew and the setting up of military convoy escorts through some areas. The movement is still very small, and very far removed from the main tourist areas down south, but that doesn't mean it should be ignored.

First published by Die Burger and Safarious

When sketchy reports about a shadowy Islamist movement attacking and beheading villagers started filtering out of northern Mozambique in October 2017, I (and other Mozambique-watchers) was highly sceptical. Even more so when direct links were made between the group and al-Shabaab in Somalia and Boko Haram in Nigeria.

But now it has been confirmed that a movement of disaffected, unemployed and impoverished young men calling itself Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama - "Followers of the Prophetic tradition" - does indeed exist. It's the last thing Mozambique - whose tourism industry stutters along with many setbacks - needs, especially as both the British and American governments have issued travel warnings about the country.

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