Mocimboa da Praia, a major port situated in the Northern oil-rich region of Mozambique, was taken over on Wednesday by Islamist extremists i.e. a group of jihadists. According to local media and military sources, this comes after a series of attacks that occurred recently in the area
The digital daily, Moz24Horas, reported that the terrorists had succeeded in taking possession of the port by dawn - sinking a ship of former president Armando Guebuza by a grenade propelled by a rocket during the attack on Wednesday.
Mocimboa da Praia - which is found 80 kilometres south of the Afungi peninsula, may be a small town but is home to one of Africa's biggest single investment projects in the form of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility. A lucrative undertaking that is one of the main sources of income for this beautiful country in Southeastern Africa.
Major Gas Project Hindered
According to reports Wednesday by The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), insurgents and government security forces have been entangled in a constant battle in the area over the last week. At the end of June, gunmen killed eight workers of a private construction company working for Total on its multi-billion-dollar gas project in Cabo Delgado province. This most recent attack is actually the third time this year that this has happened.
Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP) - which has affiliations with the Islamic State group (IS), has stated its goal of establishing a caliphate in the region. These terrorist attacks in Mocimboa da Praia started in 2017 and have since spread to massive swathes of Cabo Delgado province.
ACLED claims that around 1,300 people in northern Mozambique have lost their lives to the jihadists and aid organisations operating locally state that around 250,000 have been displaced. This has consequently had an adverse effect on the development of the gas industry and complicated the nation’s plans for offshore reserves.
Despite the unrest in the region, Total said it would go ahead with its $23 billion gas project.