ISIS Militants Seize Mozambique’s Port
Mocimboa de Praia, a northern town in the small country of Mozambique was recently captured by Islamic State militants on August 13. After almost a week of a stand-off between Mozambique’s soldiers and ISIS, the soldiers succumbed.
Mocimboa de Praia with its strategic location and a port which is currently a major traffic hub is close to Africa’s biggest drilling development project on the Afungi peninsula which is just fifty miles away. This project has been backed by the British and one billion pounds were lent by them.
This small city of almost thirty thousand people was attacked by the terrorist group on August 5 which led to most citizens fleeing their homes.
According to a news website, the Naval Forces defended the port until August 11, when they ran out of ammunition.
The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) in its most recent weekly report said, “insurgents and government security forces have been in more or less constant running battles in the area.”
This attack is the most recent in an intensifying insurgency in the northern regions of the country since 2017. Ever since then more than a thousand people have been killed and the plans to develop Mozambique’s offshore gas reserves get trickier by the day.
FDS, Mozambique’s defence forces said in a statement, “At the moment, there are ongoing actions to neutralize the terrorists that are using populations in the affected areas as shields.”
This attack was claimed by Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP), an IS-affiliated group. Their goal is to establish a caliphate in the region. The attacks in Mocimboa de Praia started in 2017 and have now spread to the Cabo Delgado province. Since 2019, ISCAP has taken responsibility for various attacks and have even posted images of seized arms and slain soldiers on social media.