Cabo Delgado: Africa’s Forgotten Insurgency


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On March 24th 2021, Islamist insurgents carried out an attack on the coastal town of Palma in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado. The days of fighting, looting, massacres, private military contractors, and dramatic rescues led to thousands more people fleeing to escape the violence.

The attack took place just a few kilometres from Total’s $20 billion-dollar natural gas project on the Afungi peninsula and in the same province as the huge ruby fields of Montepuez.

Last year the Global Initiative asked how this ongoing insurgency is impacting the illicit flows that travel through the region – after the attack at Palma, we have decided to revisit this subject.

This is a collaborative episode between Africa and the Global Illicit Economy and Deep Dive: Exploring Organized Crime.

Presenter: Lindy Mtongana


Prof. Adriano Nuvunga – Director of the CDD Mozambique

Zenaida Machado – Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch

Alastair Nelson – Senior Fellow, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Johann Smith – Independent Security Analyst in Mozambique

Colonel Lionel Dyck – CEO of the of Dyck Advisory Group (DAG)


Observatory of Illicit Economies in Eastern and Southern Africa – Risk Bulletin Issue. 17

A Triangle of Vulnerability: Changing patterns of illicit trafficking off the Swahili coast

Podcast: Deep Dive: Exploring Organized Crime – Insurgency and illicit trade in Northern Mozambique

'Criminals and Terrorists': Framing Mozambique's Insurgency - OCCRP

Hundreds Missing After Mozambique Attack: Government Should Provide More Information About Situation in Palma

Amnesty International: Mozambique: Civilians killed as war crimes committed by armed group, government forces, and private military contractors.

Producer: Jack Meegan-Vickers

Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

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