ISIS behind Mozambique insurgency?

Mozambique displaced

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, is boosting its response in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province, where a recent escalation of violence has forced thousands to flee for their lives. At least 100,000 people are now displaced throughout the province. There has been a dramatic increase of brutal attacks by armed groups, with recent weeks being the most volatile period since the outbreak began in October 2017. Bands of gunmen have been targeting local villages and terrorizing the populace. Those fleeing report random killings, maiming and torture, torched homes and shops, and crops burned in the fields. There have been reports of beheadings, kidnappings and disappearances of women and children.

Over the past days, five villages in Quissanga district were attacked. In Mahate village, the local health center was burned down, and seven residents beheaded after being waylaid while walking to work in their fields.

Jasmine Opperman, South Africa-based analyst with the UK monitoring group Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism, says that at least 20 of the Cabo Delgado attacks have been claimed in the name of the Islamic State. The Mozambique Defense Armed Forces has reportedly contracted Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group to battle the insurgency. (ReliefWeb, AllAfrica, Irish Times)

Photo: UNHCR

  1. Mozambique militant group named

    The group behind the fighting in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province that has now displaced some 150,000 is named in recent reports as Ansar al-Sunnah. It is said to have recently switched tactics to holding public meetings where looted food is handed out, in an effort to build support from the populace. The group is said to have growing areas of Cabo Delgado under its effective control. (TNH)