Civilians Targeted During Attacks in Northern Mozambique

The Mozambican army has started policing towns in the north of the African country The Mozambican army has started policing towns in the north of the African country AFP Photo/ADRIEN BARBIER

23 March 2020

It is unclear how many people were killed during the attacks on Monday night

Attacks were carried out against civilians in northern Mozambique earlier this week on 23 March. The assailants, who were a part of the Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama group, destroyed houses, vandalized public spaces, and barricaded various roads in the Cabo Delgado province in the northeast region of Mozambique. It remains unclear how many people were killed or injured during the attacks as the government has yet to assess the situation. 

This is yet another in a series of attacks committed by the Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama group against civilians. The group, also known as the “followers of the prophetic tradition”, has carried out several attacks since October 2017. In the past 2 years, the group has been responsible for the displacement of at least 100,000 civilians. In addition, hundreds of deaths are attributed to the attacks. The group has carried out mass kidnappings, beheadings, and the destruction of entire villages. This group has also had previous ties to the Islamic State terrorist group.

In northern Mozambique, international companies have taken advantage of the large underground gas supply. Companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Total have set up facilities in the region. With the ongoing attacks, several companies have called for more troops to guard their facilities. President Filipe Nyusi has made several promises to contain the attacks, but very little progress has been made. Security experts claim that the attacks in the north are not an immediate threat to the country, but could quickly spread across the nation if they are not contained. Amnesty International has commented that the government of Mozambique has not done enough to prevent such attacks. 


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Author: Vito Quaglia; Editor: Rachel Warner

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