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War in Resource-Rich Northern Mozambique—Six Scenarios

Recommended research   published by Francisco Almeida dos Santos, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute) on July 14, 2020

Northern Mozambique’s expanding violence is more than just an Islamist insurgency: its political history, ethnicity, as well as the interests of past and present political figures, private security enterprises, and multinational extractive corporations have all contributed to the surge of violence. The security forces’ confused approach, as well as the government’s blackout of media coverage raises more questions about government intentions than it does about ISIS infiltration. 

The Emergence of Violent Extremism in Northern Mozambique

Spotlight   published by Gregory Pirio, Robert Pittelli, and Yussuf Adam on March 25, 2018

The emergence of a new militant Islamist group in northern Mozambique raises a host of concerns over the influence of international jihadist ideology, social and economic marginalization of local Muslim communities, and a heavy-handed security response.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation at 21: Where to Next?

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on September 3, 2021

African countries can negotiate a more equitable role in FOCAC, but this requires a more strategically focused approach, better coordination, and greater accountability to their citizens.

Cries from the Community: Listening to the People of Cabo Delgado

Spotlight   published by Gregory Pirio, Robert Pittelli, and Yussuf Adam on August 30, 2021

Stabilizing northern Mozambique will involve more than defeating violent extremists. It will also require rebuilding trust with marginalized and traumatized local communities.

Drones and Violent Nonstate Actors in Africa

Spotlight   published by Karen Allen on August 6, 2021

The risk of militarization of drone technology in Africa represents a new asymmetric tool that violent nonstate groups may deploy to extend the reach of their coercion, reshaping the African battlefield.

32 Million Africans Forcibly Displaced by Conflict and Repression

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on June 17, 2021

Africa continues to experience expanding and record levels of forced displacement—a result of predatory governments, political fragmentation, and violent extremist groups.

Russia’s Strategic Goals in Africa

(This article originally appeared as a chapter in "Russia Strategic Intentions White Paper," Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) publication series, NSI, May 2019.)
Russia has significantly expanded its engagements in Africa in recent years. These engagements often take the form of propping up embattled and isolated autocratic leaders of countries that are rich in natural resources. The United States can draw a distinction with Russia’s destabilizing role by pursuing a positive engagement strategy in Africa. The United States must avoid the Cold War trap of competing with Russia for the affections of corrupt, autocratic leaders in Africa, however, as such a policy would be disastrous for Africa while not advancing US interests.

IS-Land: Has the Age of Southern African Terrorism Properly Begun?

Recommended research   published by Richard Poplack, Daily Maverick on May 4, 2021

While the insurgency in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado grows increasingly violent, the unpoliced coastline of Northern Mozambique allows for the trafficking of hundreds of millions of dollars of heroin. The ruling Frelimo party reportedly pockets at least of $100 million of revenue from this trade each year. Efforts to combat the insurgents, who doubt that the government’s deals for natural gas exploitation will benefit all citizens have stalled, worsened by heavy handed tactics of government forces and their allied Russian and South African mercenaries. A better understanding of the dynamics at play, along with a recognition that criminalized power structures seek to protect themselves, will be required to craft adequate responses to the violence.

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