Officials Say Insurgency in Northern Mozambique Is Spreading

With violence by armed groups spreading beyond Mozambique's northernmost province of Cabo Delgado into neighboring Niassa province, President Filipe Nyusi cautioned against panic.

Insurgents linked to the Islamic State have staged attacks since October 2017 in Cabo Delgado, a coastal province rich in natural gas reserves and host to an estimated $60 billion worth of international investment in gas projects. The violence has left at least 3,100 dead, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), which tracks political violence around much of the world.

Attacks in Niassa, the province directly to Cabo Delgado's west, have been reported since at least mid-November, according to ACLED. The insurgency is connected to the Islamic State, but "the nature of that connection is a little bit unclear," said Ratner, of ACLED. He said insurgents identify as an Islamist group whose "core grievances are really about the lack of control that local people have over their lives." The insurgents propose wresting local control from the central government in Maputo and instead having "an Islamist form of self-government in the north."

InFocus

At the Mapupulu site for internally displaced persons a woman is seen patting mud into the frame of the hut her family is building after having fled the armed conflict happening in Northern Mozambique, Cabo Delgado province (file photo).

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