Al-Shabab in Mozambique: Taking Stock of an Insurgency Under Cover
Since the first attack in October 2017, Mozambique has been confronted with an extremist insurgency called Ansar Al-Sunna Wa Jamma (ASWJ), also known as Al-Shabab (not to be confused with Al-Shabab in Somalia). The alleged Jihadists targeted the Mozambican coastline and have carried out indiscriminate attacks in the Northern province of Cabo Delgado, with the capture of coastal towns Mocimboa Da Praia in 2020 and Palma in 2021 being important markers for the insurgents. The intense five-year conflict has resulted in 4,000 people dead and 800,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), roughly half of the province. The identity of the insurgents has become subject for debate among policy makers and researchers, raising questions about whether the group is primarily a local insurgency or whether there are tangible links to Jihadism in other areas of Africa and the Middle East.
(Photo credit: twitter @islamicworldupd)