Media outlets are reporting existence of waves of unrest from local insurgents in Northern Mozambique province of Capo Delgado. This leads Mozambican troop in battling them around the areas of billion-dollar projects being developed by ExxonMobil and Total.
Northern Mozambique early civilized area and developed prior to Portuguese invasion and later colonization in 1505 CE. It was part of Kilwa semi Islamic Sultanate under Ali Ibn Hassan Al-Shirazi around 1200’s CE. But in a wider picture even the name ‘Mozambique’ came from the name of Mussa Ibn Malik, an Arab trader who first visited the area and lived there. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozambique]
During the ‘independence’ movement against Portuguese colonization in Mozambique, Capo Delgado province played pivotal role from 1964, as an important base serving “Frelimo” guerillas from Tanzania.
Capo Delgado as the Muslims most populated area enjoys vast reserves of natural resources, world’s biggest untapped offshore gas fields worth $60 billion. Despite all of its abundance in natural resources, existence of massive Muslims population with richness of their Islamic history and civilization as well as its role on fighting Portuguese colonization, yet the area is one of the poorest and among neglected area by the government.
While world’s biggest energy firms including ExxonMobil and Total are exploring gas fields in the province, it has terrible records on crimes including drug gangs and networks on heroin trafficking as well as locals living in severe poverty and other thousands have been resettled from their land to make way for new gas field plants.
All these have fueled a lot on the ongoing crisis in the area. “Seven NGO’s meeting in Pemba area on 23/08/2019 on issue of insurgency in Capo Delgado blamed on poverty, lack of development and government backing of big mining and gas companies instead of developing local people” (allafrica.com 30/08/2019).
Therefore, the reality of the situation in northern Mozambique started as government’s marginalization of the province, and then it was exploited by foreign elements. Initially, locals engaged in their own efforts of development including building some schools, hospitals, digging water wells, etc. Being the Muslim majority province, it gave the rise of Islamic movement group which at the beginning was just for welfare projects as part of society initiative to fight against extreme poverty and government marginalization in the area.
On 2017, there was harsh government suppression and intimidation of the locals and their welfare initiatives, by which capitalists planned to capitalize the situation. Then the armed fighting and religious zeal of the Islamic group came to an existence, they started responding to government oppression, robbery and suppression by fighting back in the name of Islam, though in a minimal course.
In recent development, it came to light on American involvement and participation on crisis, as in the case on June, 2019 when ISIS claimed responsibility of the attack, that their branch of Islamic States Central Africa Province was involved.
What we outweigh as what is most preponderant in this crisis is that, it began as a social crisis, but from harsh government suppression, oppression and undermining of the local efforts against extremely poverty despite the vast resources in the area, the crisis turned into an armed unrest especially after American penetration.
The situation has no different from many other places, where natural resources are found or where Muslims highly resides. This similar scenario applies to Niger Delta, Congo, Darfur etc, where capitalist nations especially America creates violence and unrest to curb competitive companies as well as destabilizing areas to divert local’s grievances.
Using the war on terror propaganda, the Kuffar, their puppets and contractors like ISIS have succeeded to turn many places including Muslim areas into civil war battlefields which will likely happen in northern Mozambique.
In conclusion, we tell Muslims of Mozambique, of course, Africa needs to be rescued from capitalist exploitation by Islam, but under its comprehensive Khilafah State (Caliphate) not brutal gang of ISIS and its like. That state has to start from big Muslim land through political and intellectual methodology not by fighting or engaging in any sort of violence.
Member of the Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Tanzania