How to Defuse the Tinderbox in Northern Mozambique

In nuanced examinations of the fighting in Cabo Delgado province, a range of analysts renew warnings against over-simpliflying the conflict as one of "jihadist terrorists" against a Western-oriented state which can be ended with military solutions alone. 

The International Crisis Group says the authorities should deploy aid to build trust with locals and open dialogue with militants, while Southern African  governments should redouble law enforcement efforts to block transnational jihadist involvement.

William Minter, who once taught in Frelimo schools during the liberation war, points to the failure of military solutions in Mali, Somalia and northeastern Nigeria. For his part, Joseph Hanlon, a long-time observer of Mozambique, points to the experiences of American police departments in the early 20th century in suggesting that compromises can be made with corrupt elites to secure peace. 


  • Mozambique:  Stemming the Insurrection in Cabo Delgado

    Crisis Group, 11 June 2021

    Mozambique's northernmost coastal province was a tinderbox of colonial-era tensions, inequality and Islamist militancy. Discoveries of ruby and natural gas deposits lit the match.… Read more »

  • Mozambique:  War, Intervention, and Solidarity

    AfricaFocus, 31 May 2021

    "No amount of international military assistance will, within two years, create a fighting force that can combat the insurgency. Two other factors complicate external support.… Read more »

  • Mozambique:  Compromising for Peace the American Way

    Mozambique News Reports And Clippings, 10 June 2021

    Ending the Cabo Delgado war requires elite pacts between the oligarchs and big beasts in Cabo Delgado and a similar pact in the military. This implicitly recognises that that big… Read more »

Cabo Ligado (‘Connected Cape’), a conflict "observatory" run by ACLED, Zitamar News, and Mediafax to monitor political violence in Mozambique, publishes this map to keep track of where attacks occur in the Cabo Delgado insurgency.


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