The security situation in Cabo Delgado remains precarious following several violent attacks in recent weeks.

The discovery of large gas reserves in Mozambique and the associated potential for a sudden influx of wealth has heightened feelings of inequality and insecurity. Youth unemployment remains high, while locals have yet to see the benefits of the gas discovery.

The BBC has a very interesting background piece that explores how young men started to form fundamentalist groups in 2015. Endemic corruption and established smuggling networks overlapped and combined with existing zealots groups, to creating the backdrop to the current security situation.

The militant group responsible for recent incidents is known as Al Shabaab, but has no known link to the Somali group. The name means ‘the youth’ in Arabic. To distinguish between the two, we are tagging articles about the group in Mozambique as ‘Al Shabaab (Mozambique)’.

Response + impact

In December last year, authorities responded to the ambush of a riot police convoy – ‘two helicopters and a navy ship shelled the village of Mitumbate near Mocimboa da Praia on 23 and 24 December 2017 with at least 50 casualties.

Responses such as this further fuel militants groups.

Travel advice

From the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

On 5 to 6 October 2017, there were prolonged armed clashes with police in the town of Mocímboa da Praia (between Palma and Pemba) in Cabo Delgado province. Since the first clash, there have been smaller clashes and attacks in the neighbouring districts. At the end of May 2018, villagers were reported killed in the area of Olumbi in the district of Palma. There are reports of an increased security presence in the region, including road blocks. You should check local and social media for updates before you travel to the area and follow the advice of the local authorities.

Please click here to read the rest of the advisory.


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