Islamic Extremism in Mozambique Continues
02/17/2021 Mozambique (International Christian Concern) – Since 2017, there have been over 1,300 civilian deaths caused by Islamic extremism in northern Mozambique. The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) reports that in the past three years there have been 776 “organized violence events”, 2,578 “fatalities from organized violence” and 1,305 “fatalities from civilian targeting” in the Cabo Delgado province alone.
While these numbers are discouraging, recent data collected from ACLED has shown a decline in attacks since the beginning of 2021. According to their report, militant strikes went down from a total of 30 in December 2020 to a total of 10 attacks in January 2021.
Many assume the decrease in militant strikes is due to a successful military operative, however ACLED data shows that the weather may have more to do with the recent lack of insurgency in the area:
“The international violence data collective notes in its analysis that rain and the lack of agricultural production presents problems annually around this time of year.” Writes Samuel Smith of the Christian Post, “The result is a restrain on insurgent action no matter what government gains there are.”
That isn’t to say that Mozambique hasn’t made positive progress in their defense plan since 2017. While the government has been plenty ridiculed for its inability to protect civilians, the ACLED report points out some key improvements: “That MSF is now able to return to Macomia suggests a major improvement in the prospects for security there… It also represents a major quality of life improvement for civilians in the district.”
2021 was the first year that Open Doors listed Mozambique as one of the worst countries to be a Christian. Especially in the country’s northern region, believers are killed in staggering numbers at the hands of extremists, while thousands of others are kidnapped or forced to flee. We ask that you join us in praying for the Lord to bring peace to Mozambique, to strengthen the governments protection over its people, and to heal the trauma that thousands have had to endure.
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