Islamic extremists cause havoc in northern Mozambique. Cabo Delgado, an area of enormous potential wealth with gas resources and the gas project, lead by Total South Africa now sits under military guard. In May 2020, BBC reported “massacres and beheadings.”
Islamic extremists sudden insurgency
Islamic extremists do not negotiate. Villagers get offered food and meetings, to begin with, according to The New Humanitarian in late May 2020. The hungry people live in poverty so the offer of food looted from other villages in the province is attractive. The group, known as al-Shabab, ruthlessly beheads those who oppose conversion. According to the BBC, clashes with Mozambican police and military lead to the members of al-Shabab donning looted uniforms. This causes confusion in the area and the locals no longer know who to trust.
South African investment in gas reserves is under threat from these insurgents. And, the Mozambican army is not coping. Mozambique asked South Africa and Zimbabwe for military assistance. President Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe agreed to consider it. But, Zimbabwe suffers from a crumbling economy and Mnangagwa’s government, propped up by his army, leaves little manpower or finance for Mozambique.
Islamic extremism seems to follow gas and oil reserves
In May, South Africa said they consider the request. However, in July COVID-19 becomes the main focus of President Ramaphosa’s government. While it might look like South Africa ignores their neighbour, unconfirmed news comes that they might team up with USA and Portugal to take over security in Mozambique. The report came from GAMBAKWE ENTERTAINMENT who cited an article by Business Day.
In light of the recent gas and oil exploration off the Southern Cape shores of South Africa, Mozambique seems a problem that South Africa couldn’t ignore forever. After all, the Mozambique insurgents aren’t there for pretty sunsets.
A July 6th article in BizNews, says the Southern Cape promises three excellent wells and hails it as the new “… world-class oil and gas play… with substantial follow-on potential.”
Islamic militants creep southwards in Africa
The Islamist State acknowledges the Mozambican movement as theirs via its official media channels. According to an article in DefenceWeb published late May 2020, Mozambique was forced to look at employing private military contractors.
The trend of militant Islamists to move south, crept it’s way right to one of South Africa’s neighbouring countries. No longer something far away in North or East Africa, when they’re done with Mozambique, no doubt they will turn their eyes onto South Africa as well.
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