The New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs calls for the United States and its partners’ immediate support and assistance to combat the growing Islamic State threat in Northern Mozambique. Islamist militants tied with the ISIL have beheaded more than 50 people in a single attack during a football match in the province of Cabo Delgado in early November. A similar mass beheading occurred in April in another village of the same province.
The attack comes after at least 30 civilians were killed through late September and early October, with 62 civilians kidnapped. ISIL has carried out dozens of attacks against army barracks throughout the north and terrorist attacks in the country’s center. ISIL militants additionally captured the district capital of Mocímboa da Praia in August, with several failed joint offensives by Mozambique and the Tanzania Army. Mocímboa da Praia is strategically vital as a major port city.
The insurgent movement has gained incredible traction with the first-ever over the border raid in Tanzania claimed by ISIL on October 21st. Since then, the Tanzanian Army has sustained dozens of casualties. Two thousand people have been killed and 430,000 displaced in Northern Mozambique since the insurgency started in 2017.
The number of attacks by the ISIL linked group has increased by 300% since the beginning of 2020, as Amnesty International reported. Mozambique’s government has called for dire and immediate international assistance to combat the growing jihadist insurgent movement. The state has no capacity or reportedly ammunition to fight the emboldened Jihadist movement, threatening regional stability and a spillover into Tanzania.
Mozambique requires immediate assistance and acknowledgment by the United States before it becomes the next Jihadist stronghold in Africa.