Mozambique overcame a violent civil war in the 1990s with the support of a major U.N. peacekeeping effort. Democratic progress followed, and economic developments were encouraging before recent devastating cyclones and the COVID-19 pandemic. But since 2017, conflict has plagued the northern province of Cabo Delgado. Violent attacks by Islamic State-affiliated insurgents have increased over the last year, raising concerns for peace and stability in the region. The surge in attacks has forced the suspension a $20 billion liquefied natural gas development project, while creating a humanitarian crisis that has displaced half a million people from their homes and left Mozambique and the international community grappling for sustainable solutions to the crisis.

On May 13, USIP hosted a panel of experts for a look at the complex social, political and economic factors fueling the current insurgency in Mozambique, as well as a discussion of potential avenues for intervention to increase peace and stability in Cabo Delgado.

Continue the conversation on Twitter with #CaboDelgadoPeace.

Speakers

Lise Grande, opening remarks
President and CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace 

Cidia Chissungo
Activist; Founder, National Solidarity Campaign for Cabo Delgado

Gregory Pirio
President, Empowering Communications Associates; Senior Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, School of International Service, American University

Ambassador Carlos dos Santos
Ambassador of the Republic of Mozambique to the United States

Joseph Sany, moderator
Vice President, Africa Center, U.S. Institute of Peace

Related Publications

The Need to Build on Security Gains in Mozambique

The Need to Build on Security Gains in Mozambique

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

By:Thomas P. Sheehy

The Rwandan armed forces and police deployed to the Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique have made impressive gains combatting the Islamic State-affiliated al-Shabaab militants that have devastated the area. These 1,000 or so forces secured the key port city of Mocimboa da Praia in August, and the militants — who have committed grave atrocities, killed thousands and driven nearly a million people from their homes — have been forced to retreat from several areas of this natural resource-rich region. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention;Violent Extremism

Five Keys to Tackling the Crisis in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado

Five Keys to Tackling the Crisis in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

By:Thomas P. Sheehy

Since 2017, armed militants — often carrying the Islamic State flag — have been on the offensive in the northern Mozambique province of Cabo Delgado. The human toll of this violence is grave, with more than 3,000 killed, nearly a million displaced and an acute hunger crisis. Beyond the immediate priority of stemming the violence and addressing the dire humanitarian situation that is already affecting neighboring provinces, the crisis affords the government of Mozambique and the international community the opportunity to address long-standing challenges.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention;Violent Extremism

Pathways to Peace in Mozambique

Pathways to Peace in Mozambique

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

By:Joseph Sany, Ph.D.

An Islamist insurgency in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province and the grave humanitarian crisis it has created is threatening the promise of development offered by the discovery of vast reserves of natural gas in the region. It is imperative that the Mozambican government, with the support of the international community, make a concerted effort to return peace to this strategically important part of southern Africa.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention;Violent Extremism

Mozambique’s Crisis Requires a New Playbook to Fight Extremism

Mozambique’s Crisis Requires a New Playbook to Fight Extremism

Thursday, December 3, 2020

By:Leanne Erdberg Steadman;Bethany L. McGann;Colin Thomas-Jensen

Over the past three years, a local Islamist insurgency in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado has grown in strength and viciousness, developing ties with international terrorist groups and threatening one of the world’s largest natural gas projects. The insurgency is turning Cabo Delgado into a killing field.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

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