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Mozambique crisis: Insurgency plans new attack, says consultancy firm

An Aerial view taken on February 24, 2021 shows temporary houses in the Napala Agrarian Center of Metuge District, Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique.   -  
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A fresh attack by a homegrown insurgency in northern Mozambique may be coming soon, according to consultancy firm Pangea-Risk

Citing local sources, it said an attack on the town of Quitanda, near the Afungi gas site, is expected in the coming weeks.

Since 2017 an insurgency that pledges allegiance to the Islamic State group has been capturing towns in the north.

Known locally as Al Shabab, they have killed thousands and displaced some 700.000 since waging their war, mainly in the Cabo Delgado province.

The strategic area borders Tanzania and is an area that is rich in natural gas.

The Mozambican government has reiterated that attacks in the north are "an attack on the whole country" and says it will be Mozambique's military who fights the armed Islamist groups.

The country's President Filipe Nyusi has been reluctant to accept foreign boots on the ground to fight the insurgency.

At a Southern African Development Community emergency meeting to discuss the crisis on April 8, African leaders called for an “immediate technical deployment,” without specifying the details.

The meeting came after things took a turn for the worse in Mozambique.

Overcrowded refugee camps

On March 24, the Islamist group raided the town of Palma in Cabo Delgado before they were stopped 12 days later by the military.

From that attack, some 30,000 people are displaced and many are staying in refugee camps which are often overcrowded.

At one camp in Metuge in the east, more than 23,500 people are trying to survive, in makeshift huts with few resources.

Manuacha Antonio has been here since 2020 after a raid on her home in Quissanga. She's now waiting for the conflict to end so she can return to her regular life.

"The main thing is that I would like to go back home," she said.

"It's all very difficult because I don't know where to get money to buy clothes or goods for the house. I managed to do it there, with what I produced on the farm."

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