1. More Villages Abandoned In Cabo Delgado: Humanitarian Crisis Worsens

 

On 13 July 2022 Ikweli reported:

“The humanitarian crisis in Cabo Delgado, which recently displaced 36,000 people, is still worsening, and further attacks continue to occur, as has happened recently in the centre of the province. The populations of Mussemuco and Mitepo villages in Meluco district were targeted by insurgent attacks last weekend, leaving dead and massive damage. The insurgents, according to local sources, burned several houses in the village of Mitepo on Saturday, while on Sunday night, in addition to burning houses Mussemuco, a few kilometres from the village of Meluco, caused the death of a male person. Part of the population fled to the village of Meluco, while the other is without shelter and food. Classes, for now, are also interrupted, some children followed with parents and guardians. Ikweli sources in Pemba note that Cabo Delgado province is increasingly militarized. In recent days considerable war material has arrived in that province.”

Elsewhere, an unknown armed group beheaded two people in Ancuabe district and threatened the population of the area, which since June has been the scene of new attacks in Cabo Delgado. The victims of Wednesday’s attack (13.07) were two young people who were carrying out agricultural work together with a woman. The survivor was coerced by the attackers to take the victims’ heads to the village (Muaja) as a warning. The group that attacked the residents was hooded and threatened to enter the village of Muaja, according to reports reported by Lusa news agency. The situation caused the village to be “completely abandoned,” said one of the sources from Nanhupo.

The population and local authorities suspect the group of being part of the insurgent movement that has terrorized the region since October 2017.

 

2. Locals Fear Angoche Will Become The Next Palma As Prospecting Is Fast-Tracked

 

We have been reporting on the fears of local communities in Angoche (that Angoche will be the next Palma) from as long ago as 24 August 2021 when we reported the following:

“The Mozambican government says that the first oil and gas exploration wells in the Angoche basin, in Nampula province, will be carried out in 2022. However, NGOs in the province claim that there is little transparency in the activities of extraction companies. In October 2014, the Mozambican government launched the 5th tender for prospecting for hydrocarbons in the Angoche Basin. The contracts were initialed in 2018, but the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the process. Max Tonela, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, says that he hopes “that the activities to carry out the first drilling will take place in 2022”. However, non-governmental organizations in the area are suspicious. According to them, the Government is doing everything in silence and there is little participation of NGOs

in the process. Jordão Matimula, director of the National Association for Rural Extension (AENA), says that they only had “knowledge of the potential of oil in the Angoche basin after the fifth round that took place at Government level four years ago”. But since then, they have had no further information about the process. Matimula fears that the conflict that affects the province of Cabo Delgado will reach Angoche, due to its resources, and due to its poverty and unemployment. He recalls that the coastal regions of Mozambique, such as Pemba, Ilha de Moçambique, Nacala and Nacala-a-velha, have been the target of recruitment for extremist groups. “We don’t want Angoche to be a new stage for insurgents in Mozambique,” he says”.

The process is now picking up speed, and local communities are still not being consulted or informed – neither by the oil companies nor by the Mozambican government. In March 2022 it was announced that oil majors ExxonMobil, Rosneft and TotalEnergies are among the 13 companies that submitted bids in the 6th Licensing Round for the Concession of Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production Areas in Mozambique. In addition to these three companies, Italy’s ENI, Russia’s Novatec, China’s Sinopec, CNOOC, CNPC and PetroChina International, Qatar Petroleum, South Africa’s Sasol, the Indian ONGC Videsh, Ireland’s Discovery Exploration and Aiteo, from Nigeria. In addition to a bid from the parent company, TotalEnergies submitted a second bid through one of its corporate arms, TotalEnergies EP New Venture. The process covers 16 intervention areas, totalling more than 92,000 square kilometres: five in the Rovuma basin, seven in Angoche, two in the Zambezi Delta and two in the Save.

In an apparent fast-tracking of the process, it was announced on 13 July 2022 that London-based Geopartners has signed an exclusive agreement with Mozambique’s National Petroleum Institute to perform a new multiclient 3D geophysical survey over the country’s offshore Angoche Basin. “The project will comprise acquisition of a minimum 12,000 sq. km of 3D Multi-Client data over Blocks that will be awarded following the closure of the current 6th Licensing Round,” the company announced in a communique.

GeoPartners will apply acquisition and imaging techniques to improve illumination of complex structures to help reduce exploration risk and support potential fast-track production and development. Pre-acquisition permitting is underway, with the six-month survey due to start early next year. Early processed results should be issued by year-end 2023.

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