For decades a forgotten corner of Mozambique, Cabo Delgado has now become the country’s El Dorado, promising billions in natural gas and gemstones but delivering its population only violence and displacement. An insurgency in the province now threatens to become further entrenched – 50,000 people have fled their homes since March and Mozambique’s neighbours are currently debating sending in regional forces to help defeat militants who seized a strategic port in the town of Mocímboa da Praia last month. The fear is that such an action could alienate a population with serious grievances, despite the chaos caused by Isis-linked militant group Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamaa, known locally as al-Shabaab (though it has no links with the better-known Somalia-based Islamist militant group of the same name). Cabo Delgado has spent decades underdeveloped. Even past decade’s dual discoveries of $50bn (£38bn) worth of natural gas and rubies that sell for hundreds of millions of dollars brought only displacement and misery for local people. Those who have fled Cabo Delgado in the past six months take the total number of people displaced in the region to more than 200,000 (10% of its population) since 2017, when Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamaa launched an insurgency. More than 1,000 people have been killed in the past three years.
SOURCE: THE GAURDIAN