The north-eastern region of Mozambique has been experiencing attacks by armed groups said to be linked to Islamic militants. On 19 June, Human Rights Watch reported that at least 39 people had been killed and a further estimated 1 000 displaced in the province of Cabo Delgado, while 400 homes have been torched.

The attacks began in October 2017 when police stations in the Mocimboa da Praia district in Cabo Delgado came under fire by the suspected militants, who may be affiliated to the Al-Shabab militant group (although not publicly linked in Somalia) and Al-Sunna wa Jama’a.

The UK has issued a travel warning: “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all but essential travel to the districts of Palma, Mocimboa de Praia and Macomia in Cabo Delgado province due to an increase in attacks by groups with links to Islamic extremism.” The warning continued to say: “Some tensions remain in Zambezia, Sofala, Manica and Tete provinces, mainly between the opposition party’s militia and state security forces.”

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The US embassy has also put out an advisory on its website to American citizens to steer clear of the Palma region: “We strongly advise American citizens in the district headquarters of Palma to consider departing the area immediately.”

Anadarko, an American petroleum and natural gas exploration and production corporation, is set to raise $14 billion-$15 billion for a plant in the region. Reuters reported on Tuesday that the company had put its employees currently in the area on “lockdown”, and was preventing them from “going beyond the perimeter of the planned plant,” following a spate of beheadings, machete attacks and homes being set alight.

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