Africa: AU Finally Takes Official Note of Northern Mozambique Jihadist Insurgency

As Mozambique reeled from the consequences of one tropical storm, the powerful Cyclone Kenneth slammed Cabo Delgado province last April, affecting at least 200 thousand people, many already displaced by conflict.
analysis

The African Union is, at last, sitting up and taking official notice of the growing and brutal jihadist insurgency in Mozambique's northernmost province of Cabo Delgado.

At the AU summit taking place in Addis Ababa, the AU peace and security commissioner Smail Chergui said on Monday that the AU should be helping Mozambique by providing equipment and training and also help them address the problem holistically.

"We have to understand why this terrorism is happening there and why there has been such an unprecedented level of violence against civilians," he said, referring to the extreme brutality of the attacks by the jihadist group generally called Al-Sunnah wa Jamaah (ASWJ) though some locals also call it Al-Shabaab. Islamic State has claimed that the local group is an affiliate of its IS Central Africa Province which in turn falls under its Somalia division.

Since erupting in October 2017, the ASWJ jihadists have conducted scores of attacks and killed as many as 600 civilians and security personnel, usually beheading and otherwise maiming and dismembering its captives.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi also seems to be paying more attention to the ASWJ insurgency. He skipped the AU summit - where South African President Cyril Ramaphosa...

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