It will be short-sighted to think that the events in Mozambique are independent and unique to Mozambican problems. If this week’s attack in Palma, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, will be a lesson to world leaders there are two things that we have to learn. Number one is the fact that the Islamic Terrorist hates the foreigners more than they hate the locals.
The co-ordinates attack on the hotel that was housing the South Africans among other foreigners is not just a coincidence but a message to neighboring countries and International corporations that they are not welcome in the region. They are seen both by the locals and Islamic terrorists as the people who are coming to benefit from the resources (gas and oil) at the expense of the local people and fueling the corruption in the region.
The second lesson is that any destabilization in the region will affect all four countries that share the borders with Mozambique (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Tanzania). South Africa and Zimbabwe share the biggest borders with Mozambique and most of it doesn’t have any fence or deployed army to patrol the mountainous parts of the border. This means that if Mozambique falls as we saw in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia, and some parts of Nigeria, Mali, and Chad we will be sharing our borders with ISIS terrorists. The violent conflict can easily spill in these two countries and it’s not a far-fetched idea.
From 1977 to 1992 Mozambique was embroiled in a bitter civil war between FRELIMO which dominated the cities and RENAMO which dominated the rural areas. It is estimated that more than 500 000 people came to South Africa (Hluphekani, near Giyani) and surrounding areas as refugees, and 220 000 remain in South Africa up to his day. An equal number flee to Zimbabwe and remains there up to this day. Besides the million people refugee problems the RENAMO forces would slide into neighboring countries poaching cattle and smuggling cars to support their operations. Farmers in Limpopo and Kwazulu Natal can give a testimony that the conflict in Mozambique’s cost them big time.
In Zimbabwe Manicaland province (Nyanga, Chipinge, and Chimanimani) districts the local farmers are villages suffered greatly as their shops were ransacked by RENAMO forces (Called Matsanga by the locals), cutting the nose of the people suspected to be refugees. So there is a legitimate concern that while the SADC governments are sleep wishing the problem will just solve itself, the insurgency and terrorists are making considerable gains and becoming embolden. It’s always easy to crush the snake by its head when it’s still young.