1. ISS Study Confirms DHPI Reports on Causes of Cabo Delgado War

 

Since the beginning of the war in Cabo Delgado, the Mozambican State and the western media have consistently reported on the cause of the conflict as being Islamic Jihad supported by ISIS, with the objective of establishing a Caliphate in Cabo Delgado. DHPI has consistently pointed out that this point of view has little support amongst commentators and analysts in Mozambique, and even less amongst the direct victims of the conflicts – both these groups say that the war is about control of land and mineral resources and that the aim is to drive local populations off their land, to make way for prospectors and multinational corporations. This has now been confirmed in a study by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) released on Thursday 8 August 2022.

The study warns that the insurgency is “one of Africa’s least understood and cloudiest threats. Little is known about the identity, objectives and ideology of the group” and this “makes solving the crisis even more difficult,” the study said.

Doubts about what is behind the violence led the authors to seek to perceive among the population “the root causes of the crisis” – acting at the root, can be a solution, they justify. Thus, they conducted a survey covering 309 people and 28 “well-placed informants”, to whom a pre-defined range of responses were submitted for each response. As suggested in other studies, the discovery of valuable natural resources is a more chosen answer about the causes of conflict.

“A total of 45% of respondents said that the main cause of the insurgency was the discovery of rubies and natural gas,” others pointed to the availability of illicit weapons (13%), economic marginalization (6%), elite greed (5%) and poor governance (4%).

According to the ISS opinion, the responses support the idea that the militant group Ahlu-Sunnah wal Jama’a (ASWJ), supported by the Islamic State in Mozambique, “were facilitated by the so-called curse of natural resources: the expectations of the population have been raised, but inequalities have increased. “Some complain that they have lost land and livelihoods for gas infrastructure built on land,” doubting that the projects “reduce poverty and improve public services.”

In the survey, only 8% said they believe the insurgents fund their activities with organized crime. “A much larger proportion (38%) mentioned foreign sources and 13% said that the group uses its own resources”, resulting from looting. Ethnicity was seen by only 2% of respondents as the engine of the insurgency.

Mozambique: Insurgency is one of Africa’s “nebulous” threats, a study | | NEWS | DW 11.09.2022

 

2. Bishop of Pemba on Current Situation in Cabo Delgado

 

The below interview with Bishop Juliasse Sandramo was published in

Attention to the Conflict of Cabo Delgado and a strategy to confront it – Seven Banks (setemargens.com)

On 11 September:

Concerned about the worsening violence in the province of Cabo Delgado, António Juliasse Ferreira Sandramo, bishop of the diocese of Pemba considers that the situation will not be resolved if it is only treated as a military matter. The bishop fears that the war in Ukraine will be a serious drama that, moreover, is already going beyond the borders of Cabo Delgado province, having recently targeted Nacala, in the neighboring province of Nampula.

In the conversation he had with 7MARGENS in Braga, D. António Juliasse explained that a severe problem felt in Cabo Delgado after the beginning of the war in Ukraine was the lack of support from the World Food Program (WFP).

WfP’s work, which is getting humanitarian aid to areas that urgently need it, had allowed something extraordinary: no hunger deaths among displaced people fleeing violence. The end of this aid will prevent the aid of more than 850,000 displaced people, says the bishop of Pemba, indicating that as a result of the most recent attacks, there are 8,000 new displaced people. “Without the help of the international community, nothing can be done,” says António Juliasse. It therefore underlines that Mozambique must remain a global priority. “There can be no first-line victims and second-line victims.” The Conflict of Cabo Delgado can not be forgotten, becoming a “normal subject”, making the misfortune of those who have to walk 200 kilometers to try to be hosted by families in extremely precarious conditions is indifferent.

It has been possible that there are no deaths from food shortages and, at least, it must continue to be guaranteed, this is what is urgently needed immediately, says the bishop, stressing the need to re-count on the help of the World Food Programme. Involved in combating hunger, Caritas Diocesana de Pemba alone cannot suppress it.

As for the conflict, which has been widespread – a few days ago, the attack of armed men on the Mission of Chipene, in the diocese of Nacala, in the neighboring province of Nambula, caused the death of an Italian Comboni religious, Maria de Coppi – causing a generalization of insecurity, the Bishop of Pemba considers the strategy that has been followed only militarily. Young people, potential targets of recruitment by jihadists, need to “offer horizons”. It is essential to create jobs, to eliminate poverty, to provide opportunities, says D. António Juliasse. “You have to keep people from getting lost,” he says. In other words, “Hope must be created.” An exclusively military response can eliminate two, three or four jihadists, but it will not prevent new recruitment.”

For the bishop of Pemba, rapid changes are needed in the way violence is dealt with. Extensive prevention work is needed, integrating all, including religious leaders and local leaders. The Government should take a more far-sighted approach and talk to Muslim and Catholic leaders. António Juliasse presents his own example: “I was never called to a meeting” for reflection.

The problems with food are obviously not the only ones. The list includes difficulties with rehousing and psychological problems. Violence has also forced many schools and health centres to be closed. In displaced persons reception sites, schools prepared to receive 1,000 children now have to receive 3,000, the bishop notes. And a lot of kids don’t even have the motivation to go to school. The younger ones find themselves deprived of a future.

World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon (august 2023), says António Juliasse, should pay some attention to young people who are being killed worldwide or who are victims of poverty and corruption. “How to think about this?” asks the prelate, calling for an extended interreligious dialogue for peace. And also asking that, in WYD, do not ignore what is happening in Mozambique. António Juliasse will be in the Vatican for the next few days also for the purpose of the Mozambican tragedy not to be forgotten.

Donations can be made through IBAN: PT50 0010 0000 0276 7480 0020 8.

A euro, bishop D. António Juliasse said, allows a meal to be paid.

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