Africa Monitor

Africa Monitor Intelligence

Mozambique: Regional Organized Crime Stimulates Insurgency in Cabo Delgado

Despite being emphasized at the official public level by foreign government officials, the religious element in the Cabo Delgado conflict, and in particular the involvement of the Islamic State, is increasingly undervalued, by qualified sources on the ground, as preponderant compared to other factors that compete to keep the insurgency active. The Islamic threat was recently evoked - and more forcefully than usual - by the US State Department's counter-terrorism officer, NATHAN SALES, who emphasized it upon returning from a mission to Mozambique/ South Africa in DEC., in a way interpreted as seeking to pressure the Government of FILIPE NYUSI (FN) to accept foreign aid made available (AM 1278).
Mocímboa is recognized as the main warehouse for trade flows, mostly illegal, between Mozambique and the Comoros, and essential for the mafias that dominate these operations, which explains why the location symbolically represented the beginning of the insurrection and that Islamic-inspired armed groups attacked it successively until they occupied it, since MAR.
Over the past few years, news and images have circulated that indicated the knowledge of the identity of many of the guerrillas by the local population. As determined, the insurgents imposed a new "social order" in the village and its surroundings and all the State's symbols and presence were eliminated. The population that remained in the village is subject to new rules that involve the separation during the day of men, women and children and the delivery of specific tasks to each group.
These analyzes devalue the importance of Tanzania in the conflict, considering the trend of regional spread as a consequence of the confluence of diverse interests in the destabilization of the region, which includes the propaganda of the Islamic State, that uses Islam as a pretext to assert itself in Africa. READ MORE