Mozambican President reports armed groups attacking northern town | ISIL/ISIS activity reported

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President Filipe Nyusi announced that Mozambique’s army is currently engaged in battle with ISIL-linked groups in the gas-rich Cabo Delgado’s Macomia. The armed groups launched a major attack on the town of Macomia, prompting a response from the army. Despite efforts to stabilize the region, there has been a recent surge in attacks since the beginning of the year.

According to reports from security sources, hundreds of fighters are involved in the latest attack which occurred on Friday morning. Nyusi confirmed that the town of Macomia has been under attack since the morning, with ongoing fire exchanges between the army and the armed group fighters. The attack on Friday was considered one of the most serious in the area in recent times.

Piers Pigou, from the Institute for Security Studies, expressed concerns about a security vacuum potentially opening up following the withdraw of the Southern African troops. Nyusi mentioned that attacks during this transition period are possible, and he hoped that the SADC forces would be able to assist in the situation. It remains unclear if the SADC forces are still present in the area.

Additionally, Rwanda has sent troops to Mozambique to help combat the armed groups. The International Organization for Migration reported that over 110,000 people have been displaced due to escalating violence in the region since the end of last year. The offensive comes at a crucial time as oil companies like TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil are looking to resume or start LNG projects in Cabo Delgado, despite the security challenges in the area.

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