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The Islamic State in Mozambique

Although the militant Islamist insurgency in Mozambique has been brewing since late 2017, it was only when Islamic State-affiliated militants captured the northeastern port city of Mocimboa da Praia in Cabo Delgado province in mid-August 2020 that it gained the world’s attention. After the group’s successive losses in the Levant, it came as a shock to analysts and policymakers that the Islamic State was once again capable of controlling territory—jeopardizing the outlook for stability in Mozambique.

This was not the first time Islamist militants succeeded in taking control of territory in Mozambique, however. Four months before, in March 2020, they briefly took Mocimboa da Praia, where the insurgency originated and which has seen more than 30 attacks from the group since 2017. They also held the city of Quissanga, approximately 120 km further south, for about 48 hours, raising their flag before retreating to evade a large-scale confrontation with the Mozambican army and its foreign backers. Since then, Mozambique’s northeastern region has witnessed horrific brutality in the form of kidnappings, massacres and beheadings (including the killing of more than 50 young men in early April). More than 2,000 people have been killed and 500,000 internally displaced. According to the World Food Program, hundreds of thousands of civilians in the northern region will soon also suffer from severe food shortages.

Read more at Lawfare

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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