Mozambique Crisis: 6 Month Outlook


    Mozambique Crisis 6 month
    PEMBA, Mozambique (Feb. 4, 2019) Military members from the Tanzania People’s Defence Force. Photo by the U.S. Department via Rawpixel.


    Mozambique is shattered by the ongoing economic, humanitarian, political, and security crisis. Since 2017, Mozambique, especially the northern area of Cabo Delgado, is under the siege of Al-Shabaab (Mozambique) and the Islamic State in Central Africa Province (ISCAP) insurgents. Terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado have planned to disrupt international investments in natural gas. The reserves of natural gas in Mozambique are worth $60 billion, representing one of the most valuable resources of the territory. Therefore, the disruption of these investments put Mozambican’s economy in a tough spot, creating socioeconomic instability and the population’s dissatisfaction. In 6 months, the Mozambique crisis is likely to improve through counterinsurgency maneuvres and international humanitarian aid.  

    Key Judgement 1

    Al-Shabaab (Mozambique) and the Islamic State in Central Africa Province (ISCAP) are unlikely to disappear from Cabo Delgado in the next 6 months.

    • Since the first terrorist attack on 5 October 2017, Al-Shabaab’s (Mozambique) militants have dominated Cabo Delgado province. Until 2021, the violent insurgency killed at least 3,000 civilians and displaced 800,000. 
    • However, Al-Shabaab (Mozambique) found fertile grounds in Mozambique to recruit new militants.
    • The extremist group exploited the weaknesses of the Mozambican government as an advantage to carry on the insurgency. 
    • The corruption scandal of 2016—the hidden debt of $2.7 billion-damaged the Mozambican economy, leaving the population in economic instability. Al-Shabaab(Mozambique) exploited the population’s dissatisfaction and desperation to recruit new fighters.
    • Moreover, human rights violations and people displacement due to government resource extraction are identifiable as the main drivers to join Al-Shabaab(Mozambique).

    Key Judgement 2

    The intervention of SADC and the Rwandan troops is likely to decrease the armed uprising in Mozambique in next 6 months.

    • The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Rwandan troops are trying to contain the insurgency in Cabo Delgado with the help of the European Union and the US.
    • In August 2021, the US launched a military program to improve the battlefield capabilities of Mozambican commandos and rangers. 
    • On the 12 January 2022, the SADC extended their mandate in Mozambique. 

    Key Judgment 3

    The Mozambique crisis will likely improve the humanitarian crisis and guarantee socioeconomic development in the next 6 months.

    • SADC’s counterinsurgency campaign is trying to give partial stability to Cabo Delgado. However, socioeconomic development and humanitarian aid can provide the total stability of the province.
    • Indeed, to restore peace in Cabo Delgado, the Mozambican government needs to rebuild the trust with their citizens.
    • The corruption scandal of 2016 and the human rights violation against artisanal ruby miners in Montepuez were the main drivers of discontent. 
    • The USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance is already assisting the humanitarian crisis in Cabo Delgado, including food, protection, and shelter. Indeed, it is likely that the humanitarian assistance will increase if SADC’s counterinsurgency campaign is successful. 
    • Finally, the Mozambique LNG Project needs to be restored to provide socioeconomic benefits and stability.

    Intelligence Cut-off Date (ICOD): 21-03-2022

    Bianca Bonardi
    Bianca Bonardi
    Bianca is a graduate student in Criminology at Goldsmiths College of London. She recently finished her post-graduate studies in Terrorism and Security at King's College of London. Her research is mainly focused on Middle East issues and International Terrorist threats.

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