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Mozambique – updates May 2022

From Atrocities Watch Monitor N° 4, May 2022
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There appears to be a decrease in violence since January 2022, which was the month with the highest level of violence in the last year. April showed the lowest levels of violence yet, which represents a 57% decrease in incidents and an almost 90% decrease in fatalities compared to the monthly average for the past year.[1] In what appears to be the success from the joint operations of Mozambican, Rwandan and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) forces, some roads have been reopened and a certain calm has returned to Cabo Delgado.[2] In some areas people have started to return to their normal lives as militant extremist groups are suffering “massive losses” according to South Africa’s top general.[3]

On 6 April Mozambican Defence Minister Chume claimed security forces had brought “stability” to Nangade, and a low number of violent incidents were recorded in April[4] Among the incidents recorded, on 3 April, clashes near Chicuaia Velha, 20 km south of Nangade town, one of the insurgents was a 13-year-old boy who managed to escape.[5] On 5 April, a clash took place in Mandimba village, less than 30 km from Nangade town.[6] In mid-April, insurgents kidnapped 10 civilians in the Chibau area.[7] On 22 April, in the Chipingo locality of Mueda district, insurgents were intercepted on their way to Muiha in Nangade district, all insurgents were reportedly killed but the total number of fatalities is unknown.[8] The Islamic State though their social media platforms have not claimed responsibility for any attacks in Cabo Delgado since 19 March.[9]

On 1 April, a video of the Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP), rendering allegiance to the new caliph, Abu Hasan Al Hashimi Al Qurayshi, was published, two distinct groups of fighters bearing arms and the IS flag were identified, one believed to be from the DRC and another from Mozambique.[10]

Context:

 In October 2017, attacks by a group known locally as “Al-Shabaab,” linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, but not to the Somali Al-Shabaab began in Cabo Delgado. The group has perpetrated indiscriminate attacks against civilians, including beheadings, sexual and gender- based violence, sexual slavery, abductions, recruitment of child soldiers and destroying civilian infrastructure. Reportedly more than 3,100 people have been killed[11] and UNHCR lists over 891,216 persons of concern in the country,[12] including 735,00 in Cabo Delgado.[13]

 International response:

On 12 April, SADC member states agreed to adapt their security operation to include more troops as well as “strengthening governance structures, rebuilding infrastructure, re-establishing education and creating general normality for the region’s residents.” This entails further coordination and cooperation with the Mozambican and Rwandan Army’s.[14] South Africa extended the deployment of its troops in accordance with the new peacekeeping mandate as part of the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) for 12 months.[15]

 

 

[1] ACLED Data.

[2] Institute for Security Studies, “SADC and Rwanda shouldn’t go it alone in Mozambique,” 11 April 2022, https://issafrica.org/iss-today/sadc-and-rwanda-shouldnt-go-it-alone-in-mozambique

[3] Daily Maverick, “SANDF chief says regional force in Mozambique is winning,” 13 April 2022, https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2022-04-13-sandf-chief-says-regional-force-in-mozambique-is-winning/

[4] Cabo Ligado, Cabo Ligado Weekly: 18-24 April 2022, 26 April 2022, https://www.caboligado.com/reports/cabo-ligado-weekly-18-24-april-2022

[5] Cabo Ligado, Cabo Ligado Weekly: 28 March-3 April 2022, 5 April 2022, https://www.caboligado.com/reports/cabo-ligado-weekly-28-march-3-april-2022

[6] Cabo Ligado, Cabo Ligado Weekly: 4-10 April 2022, 12 April 2022, https://www.caboligado.com/reports/cabo-ligado-weekly-4-10-april-2022

[7] Cabo Ligado, Cabo Ligado Weekly: 11-17 April 2022, 20 April 2022, https://www.caboligado.com/reports/cabo-ligado-weekly-11-17-april-2022

[8] Cabo Ligado, Cabo Ligado Weekly: 18-24 April 2022, 26 April 2022, https://www.caboligado.com/reports/cabo-ligado-weekly-18-24-april-2022

[9] Ibid.

[10] Cabo Ligado, Cabo Ligado Weekly: 28 March-3 April 2022, 5 April 2022, https://www.caboligado.com/reports/cabo-ligado-weekly-28-march-3-april-2022

[11] Ramos Miguel, Andre Baptista, “Officials Say Insurgency in Northern Mozambique is Spreading,” Voice of America, 17 December 2021, https://www.voanews.com/a/officials-say-insurgency-in-northern- mozambique-is-spreading/6359526.html

[12] UNHCR data portal, https://data2.unhcr.org/en/country/moz

[13] UNHCR, “Northern Mozambique Situation,” January 2022.

[14] The Irish Times, “Mozambique’s battle with terrorism hinges on unprecedented co-operation,” 19 April 2022, https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/africa/mozambique-s-battle-with-terrorism-hinges-on-unprecedented-co-operation-1.4855933

[15] AP News, “South African Army Extends Mission Against Mozambique Rebels,” 13 April 2022,  https://apnews.com/article/south-africa-southern-lesotho-pretoria-097d65f7a792e27cb94535b7e45576ca

 

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