Mozambique: An Expanded Russian Interest in Northern Mozambique Could Be a New Game Changer

analysis

In the run-up to the October 2019 Mozambican general elections, bilateral relations with Russia signalled a change in direction for existing volatile stability patterns, especially in the northern Cabo Delgado region. Mozambican armed forces are not equipped to deal with the insurgency in the north - but there is a price to be paid to Russia.

In October 2019, Russia's military presence in Mozambique's northern province of Cabo Delgado became a reality against the backdrop of recent insurgent advances by ISIS-aligned jihadist groups in the area.

However, the Club of Mozambique reported on 9 October 2019 that the Mozambican Ministry of Defence claimed successful military action against armed groups who were responsible for the destruction of villages and murders in Cabo Delgado -- referring to eliminating "criminals" in the Mbau region between the Messalo and Muera rivers in the Mocímboa da Praia district.

In addition, well-placed sources reported that the Mozambican military, most likely supported by Russian soldiers, executed bombing raids directed at an insurgent military base in Quiterajo (Macomia District). Sources reported that according to the military, insurgent informers were also captured. Current media clampdowns make confirmation of exact details pertaining to reported successes difficult and allow a narrative...

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