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‘ISIS-Mozambique’ Strikes Again

March 31, 2021

Episode Notes:

The deadly insurgency in Cabo Delgado, the northern-most province in Mozambique, escalated last weekend after insurgents seized control of Palma, a strategic coastal town of 75,000 people that’s the site of gas projects worth billions of dollars. The Mozambican government said dozens were killed in the sophisticated attack, while thousands are trying to evacuate. The State Department recently designated Ahlu Sunna Wal Jammah — the group responsible for the attack that’s known locally as al Shabaab, although it is distinct from its Somali namesake — as an affiliate of the Islamic State, and placed it in on its list of foreign terrorist organizations. Washington estimates that 2,300 civilians and members of the security forces have been killed since the start of the armed insurgency in 2017.

Emilia Columbo — a senior associate (non-resident) with the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former senior Africa and Latin America security analyst at the CIA — joins the Warcast to discuss the latest from Mozambique.

[ 01:25 ] What's the current state of the insurgency in Cabo Delgado?

[ 02:58 ] How would you assess the government's counter-insurgency strategy, particularly in response to developments in recent months?

[ 04:31 ] In your view, what led the State Department to designate al-Shabaab in Mozambique as "ISIS-Mozambique"?

[ 05:49 ] The U.S. embassy in Mozambique announced that American special forces will be training Mozambican marines for the next two months. What do you think will be the principal benefit of such a training program?

[ 06:53 ] What are the prospects for this insurgency and ISIS-Mozambique going forward?

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