SADC troops plan exit despite rising Mozambique insurgency


SADC forces in Mozambique

from ARMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
Mozambique Bureau
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – THE threat by Islamist militant groups in northern Mozambique is forecast to remain high at least through the end of May.

While attacks had subsided in 2023, violence has escalated in recent weeks, mostly in the Cabo Delgado province. The period also culminated in the first attack in Nampula province in over a year.

The Ahlu Sunnah Waljama’a (ASWJ) is behind the insurgency and last week was accused of attacking Christian villages in the district of Erati in Nampula and burnt houses, schools, churches and killed at least one local.

Activity has been reported in the Chiure, Macomia, Mecufi, Meluco, Metuge, Mocimboa da Praia, Quirimba island and Quissinga districts.

Militants’ presence has led to a new wave of civilian refugees, with sources reporting over 100 000 displaced locals in recent weeks.

“Militant activity has also prevented authorities from providing food, as well as administrative, social and health services,” said a source.

Violent attacks on major infrastructure and urban areas could increase on short notice, especially following the end of the month of Ramadan, experts said.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that in February, there were 32 incidents targeting civilians, upwards from 26 incidents in January.

In Chiúre, public infrastructures including the post office, the residence of the head of the administrative post, the hospital, schools and churches were destroyed.

Meanwhile, the deterioration of some local roads after heavy rains during the period has affected some efforts to reach those displaced.

The problems in northern Mozambique coincide with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) planning its departure reportedly over lack of funds.

It is scheduled to withdraw in July, having been in the country since 2021.

– CAJ News

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