Dirco says more diplomats to be expelled

Image via: @DIRCO_ZA / Twitter

Crisis in Mozambique: South Africa to intensify efforts of support

Cabo Delgado in Mozambique is currently faced with triple challenges of the pandemic, a violent insurgency, as well as, a humanitarian crisis.

Dirco says more diplomats to be expelled

Image via: @DIRCO_ZA / Twitter

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said South Africa will do its part to support Mozambique during its humanitarian crisis. Cabo Delgado is a province in the Northern part of Mozambique which borders Tanzania, Malawi and Zimbabwe. An important threat at hand is an insurgency group known as Ahlu Sunna Waljama (ASWJ) or Al-Shabaab. 

Cabo Delgado in Mozambique is currently faced with triple challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the violent insurgency, as well as a humanitarian crisis caused by the insurgency and cyclones Ida and Kenneth of 2019. The province has been experiencing violent attacks since 5 October 2017. 

The first half of 2020 has been marked by a series of attacks, increasingly violent, characterised with sabotage against entire villages, civilians, government buildings, NGOs and churches. According to the department, it has left more than 10% of the province’s population internally displaced. After the occupation of towns and villages, looting of supplies has also taken place. 


It cannot be confirmed whether or not this is a guerilla movement evolving to terrorism or a terrorist group using guerilla tactics in search of political, financial and moral support from other radicalised religious groups. Attacks are mainly against its own population and state. The main districts affected are Mocimboa da Praia, Quissanga, Muidumbe and Macomia. 

The announcement of the recent capture of the port town of Mocimboa da Praia in August is of great concern. 

“South Africa will intensify efforts to provide support to Mozambique to end the insecurity speedily and to limit its impact,” the department said.  

The United Nations, in early June 2020, launched a $35.5 million appeal for a Rapid Response Plan to Cabo Delgado to be implemented from May to December 2020 for the humanitarian crisis. 


The Department of International Relations and Cooperation listed implications for South Africa: 

  • Internally displaced persons might end up seeking refuge in South Africa; 
  • Mozambique has just assumed the Chair for SADC, which is a great opportunity for both countries to strengthen cooperation between SADC and AU, as well as, between South Africa and Mozambique; 
  • South Africa is also the incoming Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security and will be involved directly in regional peace and security matters for the next three years; 
  • Great opportunity exists for South Africa to import natural gas from Mozambique, thus the security of Cabo Delgado is of great interest to South Africa and her energy diversification strategy; and 
  • South Africa’s security agencies need to enhance their capacity and data in order to allow for appropriate decisions to be considered. 

Going forward, South Africa may consider continued direct engagement at Principal’s levels, increased discussions on solutions at regional (SADC) and continental (AU) levels on the conflict, information sharing between Mozambique and regional partners or maritime security cooperation.