Mozambique: The brutal assaults of the final week are a ‘game-changer’ and imperil a complete nation’s monetary future

Mozambique: The brutal attacks of the last week are a 'game-changer' and imperil a whole country's financial future


People who escaped the town of Palma in Cabo Delgado province speak of dozens of bodies scattered on the streets — some beheaded, of buildings burned to the ground, banks raided and the local army barracks ransacked.

The group that carried out the attack is known locally as Shabaab — the Youth — but little is known about its ideology or organization. What is clear is that its reach has expanded across much of Cabo Delgado, a province the size of Austria. Mozambique’s government, despite the assistance of private military contractors from South Africa and Russia in the past two years, has been unable to halt its momentum.

Shabaab has become so successful that it was admitted in 2019 to the Islamic State’s Central Africa Province (ISCAP), which calls the group Ahl al-Sunnah wa al Jamma’ah (ASWJ). Since then, the group captured a significant port — Mocimboa da Praia — last August and has now overrun Palma. Its operations have also disrupted massive projects to develop…