The Bloody takeover Late last month, Palma, a northern city in Mozambique’s vast oil and natural gas hub, once again stepped up pressure to stop the international – and especially regional – violence.
Attacked by an armed group Locally known Analysts say al-Shabab’s origins have been exacerbated by local political, religious and economic discontent, which has been steadily rising in the province of Cabo Delgado since October 2011.
The sophistication of the attacks has also increased.
There are fighters associated with ISIL Looting cities And has gained control of key roadways. They have Abduction Young women and children and Behead The civilians have them Destroyed infrastructure And if Stretched Their activities to the north in neighboring Tanzania. And since August 20, they have been Control The Mozambican port city is in Mosimbo da Priya.
There has been a growing fight Displaced About 700,000 people and more than 2,500 people were killed. In early March, Amnesty International charged both fighters and Mozambique’s security forces, as well as a private South African military body, with government-appointed war crimes against civilians, including extrajudicial executions and torture.
Eric Morrier-Gennaud, a professor at Queens University Belfast who focuses on Mozambique’s history and politics, says the attack on Palma, next to Africa’s largest liquefied natural gas production site, where the French power giant has undertaken a total of ২০ 20 billion in development. And push “big pressure” to get the help of Western powers.
“However, the Mozambican government is extremely sensitive to its sovereignty,” Moriar-Zenod told Al Jazeera. “It does not want Mozambique’s foreign boot and wants to control and control any other intervention, whether it is military or humanitarian.”
On Thursday, the SADC, chaired by Mozambican President Philip Newci, called on Mozambique to “immediately set up technological installations” after a special summit in the capital, Maputo.
Details of that installation were not immediately released. However, the move has been seen as an indication that security has historically changed somewhat in most cases between Mozambique and regional and Western governments.
“Where you are the host country [Mozambique] “We want X, Y and Z, but we want it on our own terms,” explained Dino Mahtani, Africa’s deputy program director for the International Crisis Group.[And other governments] Saying, ‘Okay, you don’t get it if you don’t put boots on the ground, rather you don’t get it if we don’t advise you and we can get closer and we understand what it’s like if you want to use our equipment. ‘
Observers have long expressed concern that Mozambique Security forces Unprepared to respond to distorted situations, genesis and its permanence. It is believed to be related to a section of the local people who have not seen any benefit from the increase in the natural resources of the region, disputes between the local elites and opposition to drug trafficking and the connection with ISIL.
Meanwhile, in mid-March before the attack on Palmer, the United States announced a small, two-month training mission of the US Special Operations Forces “to support Mozambique’s efforts to prevent the spread of terrorism and violence.”
The move comes after Mozambique’s former colonial power has not yet received training from Portugal and followed a strategy of visiting the country by Western officials in December, said Emilia Colombo, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International’s Africa program. Study.
“It is an encouraging step for two independent partners to show their consent even in this limited training. It seemed like an acknowledgment that their security services were not done, and that they needed some help moving forward, “he told Al Jazeera.
“The question is, how far is the Mozambican government willing to go? Are they testing the water? He said. “If it goes well … will Mozambique be open to training more units, or take some leadership training or advice on developing more strategic approaches?”
On Monday, U.S. Defense Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters that there were no plans for U.S. military involvement and that “there is no request for assistance in that case.”
Mahtani, of the Crisis Group, has already called the U.S. training mission a “kind of consolation prize” for both Washington and Maputo, so that the United States can play a more expanded role in the country and take steps to protect Mozambique without involving more foreigners.
“No one in the Mozambican government wants to trample foreign boots around Cabo Delgado because they argue that it can only make the situation worse, like foreign intervention in other parts of the world,” he said.
“But critics of the government say it is because they do not want tears outside a part of the country as a known hub for regional drug trafficking, with regional anti-drug sources saying it is linked to strong interests.”
From a U.S. perspective, he added, “If an authorized group of ISIS were to move around, threatening large hydrocarbon infrastructure, wouldn’t the United States be interested in ensuring that free trade has always been there?” A global energy balance, stability and so on. “
‘The real dilemma’
Dozens of Mozambicans and foreigners were killed in the Palma attack, the government said earlier this week, saying the city had been secured after a “significant” number of fighters had been killed.
CSI’s Colombo says the situation in Mozambique has been further “improved” by the militant attack on the world community, but it has created a “real dilemma” for the international community, CSIS’s Colombo said.
“We now need to consider how this conflict is probably being felt within jihadi circles and how much more prone this conflict is now to the older fighters who are looking for new gigs,” he said.
Academician Morrier-Xenod added that “most commentators agree that foreign intervention will serve as a gift to local fighters and ISIS, who may present this conflict as part of a global war against ‘infidels’.”
However, leaving the fight entirely to Mozambique, whose “security services cannot truly manage this conflict, especially since it has escalated” is also not an effective option, Colombo argues. He pointed to the war as focusing on Western leaders and legislators, as well as regional governments, some civilians who were directly affected by the latest attacks and under grassroots pressure.
The solution, he said, could be something more “under the radar, small scale, training practice”.
“It should be done in such a way that it doesn’t get worse and I think it’s a real concern, it’s a very delicate situation for partners to navigate,” he said.
The term ‘foreign terrorist’ is ation
Some analysts have also suggested that Mozambique’s emphasis on al-Shabab in connection with ISIL is part of a larger effort to portray violence as driven by external forces and to emphasize the role of local operatives.
Although the group pledged allegiance to ISIL in early 2018 and there is evidence of at least a few foreign fighters joining its ranks, analysts say the level of coordination is largely unknown.
Since June 2020, Mozambican authorities have publicly referred to the violence as “terrorism”, previously calling it “criminal robbery”.
Meanwhile, in March 2020, the United States identified the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Mozambique (ISIS-Mozambique) as a “foreign terrorist organization” and its leader Abu Yassir Hassan as a “specially designated global terrorist.”
The surname, which among other provisions prohibited Americans from dealing with the group, was criticized by some. In a March Report, The CSIS label noted that it “disrupts humanitarian efforts and puts potential disarmament, reconstruction, and reintegration (DDR) activities at risk.”
Analysts further noted that Mozambique would view the designation as “externally confirmed as a description of the conflict.”
They wrote, “Mozambican officials began emphasizing the external side of the conflict last year, perhaps wanting to impose no blame for the stalemate in the region and the misuse of the security response.”
“The continued focus on military operations at the expense of social and economic programs to promote greater development and stability will further prolong the conflict.”