In the first four months of 2020, the situation in northern Mozambique deteriorated significantly, and rapidly.
ISIS militants have carried out numerous attacks, primarily targeting Catholic missions and churches. However, increasingly deadly attacks are being carried out also on other locations.
“The attacks are becoming more and more religion-oriented, and the world is closing its eyes,” commented Bishop Luiz Fernando Maria Lozano who works in the most vulnerable province of Cabo Delgado.
So far, as a result of ISIS’ attacks over 200,000 people have fled the region.
“Many want to come back, but until the situation stabilises, one cannot think about it,” Lazano said.
“I’m talking about over 200,000 people who had to flee from there. This is an obvious injustice. This is a very poor population, which as a result of another conflict loses its few possessions,” Lazano emphasized.
In order to prevent the chaos spilling onto its territory, on May 7th, Tanzania deployed troops along its southern border with Mozambique, following the rapid increase in ISIS attacks.
The troops were deployed to boost security especially as intelligence indicates that Jihadists from Tanzania have been exploiting the porous border to join the ISCAP (ISIS in Central African Province) terror organization in Mozambique.
This is also the second time that Tanzania has deployed troops to her border with Mozambique to strengthen security in an attempt to ensure that the crisis in the latter does not spill over to the East African nation.
In April, ISIS reportedly massacred at least 50 people in Muidumbe district when they over-ran the district’s capital Namacunde and occupied the district police com-mand.
Media reports say the United Nations has recorded 28 attacks in the area since the beginning of 2020, which killed up to 400 people.
Leading up to the decision by the Tanzania government, ISIS militants have been adopting new techniques and increasing the frequency of their attacks in oil and gas-rich restive north.
Mozambique has been trying to undertake counter-terrorism activities, however, they appear to be proving ineffective.
Currently, it appears that ISIS is trying to bolster its ranks, raiding villages and forcing the villagers to join the militants. If they refuse, they are killed.
The very first time ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack in Mozambique was in June 2019, and since then it has become much stronger in the area and undeterred in its activities.
Back in June 2019, ISIS issued a statement claiming involvement in an apparent gunfight with the Mozambique military in Cabo Delgado province, although an insurgency expert expressed caution over the claim.
“The soldiers of the Caliphate were able to repulse an attack by the Crusader Mozambican army in Metubi village, in the Mocimboa area,” said the statement, according to a Site translation.
“They clashed with them with a variety of weapons, killing and wounding a number of them.
“The mujahideen captured weapons, ammunition, and rockets as spoils.”
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- ISIS Terrorists Seize Weapons In New Attack On Mozambican Forces
- Mozambican Forces Say 120 ISIS-Linked Militants Killed Over Past Month
- Militants Kill 52 People In Mozambique’s Gas-Rich Cabo Delgado Province