COUNTRY UPDATE: 29 September 2023
Johan Viljoen, Reabetswe Tloubatla


Resumption of recruitment generates new wave of displaced In Macomia


Reports indicate that an insurgent group killed five people on Wednesday night and recruited many others, supposedly to be trained and join their ranks. The resumption of forced recruitment of young people is forcing many families who were trying to rebuild their lives in the town of Pangane, administrative post of Mucojo, and in other villages of the administrative post of Quiterajo, to return to the district village of Macomia. With this new wave of displaced people in recent days people arriving report a difficult scenario in Pangane, given the constant “visits” of insurgent groups. Some time ago, insurgents tried to maintain “a peaceful coexistence” with the local population, but in recent days there have been forced recruitment and even cases of murder of the civilian population. Resumption of recruitment generates new wave of displaced people in Macomia – Voz de Cabo Delgado (




Nyusi seeks more anti-terrorism support in the USA


Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi said that the country would have de considerable progress in the war against terror had it had received more resources. The statement was made during a speaking event in the National War College, in Washington D.C. Nyusi said that he had requested the United States for more support for Mozambique’s Defence and Security Forces (FDS), the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) and the Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM), who are fighting an insurgency in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. Nyusi has been on a charm offensive at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly. He posed with US President Joe Biden during the dinner traditionally offered in honour of the heads of states and governments present in New York; he also posed with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres; and in his address to the General Assembly, he spoke about the peace process in Mozambique, involving the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of Renamo’s former guerilla fighters, as well as the fighting against terrorism and the military cooperation from RDF and SAMIM. He held a meeting with the World Bank Managing Director of Operations, Anna Bjerde; he also met with American companies and businesspeople; and signed a $500 million Connectivity and Coastal Resilience Pact with the Millenium Challenge Corporation.




Combating terrorism: US intends to reinforce joint military training with Mozambique


The US intends to reinforce joint military training with Mozambique, in the fight against terrorism, said the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin, when receiving the Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, at the Pentagon. “We are satisfied with our partnership and we wish to strengthen military training between the Armed Forces of our two countries”, stated the Secretary of Defence of the United States of America who received the head of State of Mozambique for a working meeting. “Terrorism remains a significant threat to regional security and both our countries have suffered from terrorism and we are in this together. We are grateful for the support in responding to terrorist groups in northern Mozambique and the cooperation with SADC [Southern African Development Community], the European Union and others shows a strong partnership against violence,” added Lloyd J. Austin. In his welcome message to Filipe Nyusi, at the Pentagon Austin thanked him for the “partnership” with Mozambique in “strengthening maritime security”. “We are committed to continuing to work together to eliminate the causes of conflict and expand security in the region. It is central to the US strategy to prevent conflicts and promote stability, we are investing in our partnership with Mozambique to increase regional stability,” he insisted. Filipe Nyusi thanked the US Government for its support to Mozambique in areas such as economy and security, and recalled that last August he transmitted to the US Africa Command (Africom) the country’s “priorities” in strengthening military cooperation and combat to terrorism. “We have taken measures, but we have to do more, within the scope of monitoring ocean waters”, acknowledged the Mozambican President. Filipe Nyusi concluded today a six-day visit to the USA, visiting New York, where he participated in the 78th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, and Washington. The President of Mozambique asked on Thursday, during a lecture at the National War College, in Washington, for “more support” from the US for the Mozambican military and the forces of the countries that are fighting terrorism in the province of Cabo Delgado.




Explosive devices damage armouredvehicles and kill soldiers in Cabo Delgado


If before the attacks were carried out using machetes, knives and axes, moving on to firearms, today it seems that the approach has changed. According to a claim published on 25 September 2023 on pro-Islamic state channels, they state that the insurgents “ detonated on Sunday, an explosive device on a Mozambican Army patrol, on the road between the villages of Mbau and Limala, in the area of Mocímboa da Praia, in the province of Cabo Delgado, which led to the damage to an armored vehicle, causing the death and injuries of the occupants”. Meanwhile, speaking yesterday (25.09), in Tete, President Nyusi said “the FADM are on the ground chasing terrorists in some districts of Cabo Delgado province, where they have been annihilating the enemy”. (OO)




Twenty-six health units out of a total of 39 destroyed by the armed conflict in Cabo Delgado remain closed


Twenty-six health units out of a total of 39 destroyed by the armed conflict in Cabo Delgado remain closed, said the Secretary of State for Cabo Delgado on 25 September 2023. “The terrorist attacks had a negative impact on the health sector”, António Supeia told the media, on the sidelines of the Provincial Health Coordinating Council, held in the provincial capital (Pemba). The health units that remain closed are mainly in the districts of Macomia, Quissanga, Muidumbe, Mocímboa da Praia and Palma, among those most affected by the rebel incursions that have terrorized the province since 2017. “We would like to pay tribute to our health professionals who, with sacrifice, zeal, dedication and knowledge, have provided exemplary health care, ensuring that health services are available in all places where our population is located”, declared António Supeia, highlighting the importance of mobile brigades in serving populations that are returning to their areas of origin.




Government foresees “some escalation” of attacks in Cabo Delgado


Mozambique’s Defence Minister, Cristóvão Chume, predicts an increase in insurgent incursions in the north of the country, as an act of revenge for the recent death in combat of his commanders. We expect further escalation, but we can guarantee that we will continue to fight”, said the Minister of Defence of Mozambique, Cristóvão Chume, during the conference “Mobilizing Collective Intelligence to Combat and Prevent Violent Extremism and Terrorism in Africa – African Solutions for African Problems”, which kicked off this Wednesday (27.09) in the Mozambican capital. Cristóvão Chume said that the Government was “completely certain” that the insurgents would “take revenge” against the death in combat, at the end of August, of the main leader of the terrorist group in the province of Cabo Delgado, the Mozambican Bonomade Machude Omar, along with other leadership elements. He pointed to the murder of 12 people this month in the district of Mocímboa da Praia as proof of the insurgents’ vengeful action following the “operative pressure” being exerted by government forces in Mozambique, Southern Africa and Rwanda. “We are aware that the elimination of terrorist commanders alone does not mean the end of terrorism”, emphasized the Mozambican Defence Minister. This challenge, he continued, also requires the triggering of other actions, such as the creation of social and economic opportunities for communities affected by armed violence in Cabo Delgado. He pointed out that the Mozambican Defence and Security Forces must continue to improve their operational capabilities, reiterating the request for help from international partners in terms of training and supply of “lethal material”.




TotalEnergies to resume operations in Cabo Delgado this year


TotalEnergies plans to restart construction work on a liquefied natural gas plant in northern Mozambique later this year, the company’s chairman announced at a conference with analysts, considering that “the situation has clearly improved”. According to the Bloomberg financial news agency, Patrick Pouyanne told analysts that he thought the insecurity situation that led to the suspension of work in 2021 had “clearly improved”, allowing work to resume in Cabo Delgado province this year. With the new timetable now on the table, the start of gas production for the $20 billion project could take place in 2028 and gives new impetus to the increase in interest payments on the $900 billion debt, whose interest will rise from 5% to 9% from March next year. “The resumption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects is crucial for the bonds,” commented the head of investments at Capitulum Asset Management, Lutz Roehmeyer, a Berlin-based fund manager. “Without the resumption of construction, a new debt restructuring can only be avoided if the capital markets open up to Africa again,” added the investment manager. The news of the resumption of construction comes the week after financial information agency Moody’s downgraded the outlook for the economy from positive to stable, keeping the rating eight notches below investment grade.

Even with a financial support programme from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mozambique’s finances are still under pressure, with delays in the payment of domestic debt and difficulties in paying civil servants. The so- called ‘tuna bonds’, originally issued by Ematum, were converted into public debt in 2019 in the wake of the hidden debts scandal when it was discovered that the loans were endorsed by the state but were not disclosed to any public or international entity. Following the first report on the subject, published by the Wall Street Journal in April 2016, the country sank into an economic and financial crisis, missing debt payments, and the financial rating agencies downgraded the rating to ‘default’, at the same time as international donors cut direct funding to the Budget, a practice that Portugal, for example, continues to this day. The debt restructuring in 2019 is directly linked to natural gas production, as it postponed the increase in interest for five years until the commercialisation of gas began, which was one of the main arguments to convince investors to accept the restructuring.

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