Mozambique : Violent clashes, raids, and massacres are leading to a humanitarian catastrophe

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On March 29, 2021 Al-Shabaab (ISIS and ISCAP affiliates ) has claimed the take-over and control of the city of Palma in northern Mozambique, after days of armed attack against the city, killing Mozambique’s soldiers and many civilians. Such event echoes the numerous terrorist attacks in Mozambique, most specifically in the province of Cabo Delgado, where Al-Shabaab is notably controlling the port of Mocimboa da Praia. The city of Palma has been nevertheless delivered on April 5, 2021 with Mozambique’s military regaining full control of the city.

Mozambique suffers from repeated massacre of populations, many people being beheaded, and mass exodus. Portugal has announced the deployment of 60 soldiers in Mozambique to provide consulting, training, and capacity-building. Mozambique is also said to benefit from the support of PMCs from South-Africa and Russia.

The fighting between Al-Shabaab insurgents and Mozambique’s army have started in 2017 and have caused, according to the UNHCR, more than 530’000 internally displaced persons. The United Nations has recently warned that displacement could reach 1 million and has called for the urgent need to address this growing humanitarian catastrophe and to reach the required funding. The country is still also suffering from the consequences of the 1975-92 civil war, with the remaining tensions and armed clashes between the ruling Frelimo party and the opposition former rebel movement Renamo.

CD4Peace deeply believes the political and cultural roots of the insurgency and conflict must be addressed in core respect with essential human rights. Good governance and investment in the local community is more than needed. We also outline the need to deal with the past and we encourage all the parties to respect the rule of law, notably the rule of IHL, and to build a common future based on the acceptance and the celebration of cultural diversity.