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Mozambique: Islamic State

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL6822, tabled on 14 July 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the prevalence of Islamic State (IS) insurgency in northern Mozambique and reports (1) of the displacement of 200,000 people, (2) of wide-spread killings, and (3) of the seizure of towns by IS in Cabo Delgado; what discussions they have had with the government of South Africa about reports that it is considering a military intervention in northern Mozambique; and what plans they have to provide humanitarian assistance to those people who have been displaced.

Answered on

23 July 2020

The UK is deeply concerned about the situation in northern Mozambique and the increasing attacks by groups with links to Islamic extremism. We strongly condemn the targeting of civilians and the temporary seizures of the towns of Mocimboa da Praia and Quissanga by insurgent groups. The Foreign Secretary discussed the situation in northern Mozambique with President Nyusi on 11 June, urging him to address the underlying causes of the insurgency as well as its effects. We support the Government of Mozambique to address the drivers of conflict and instability in northern Mozambique, including through engagement with the Government of Mozambique's regional development authority in Cabo Delgado and with targeted technical assistance under the framework of a Defence Memorandum of Understanding. The UK also has a substantial aid programme in Mozambique, worth £168 million in 2019/20, which includes programmes to drive more inclusive growth and to improve good governance in Cabo Delgado.

We are also concerned about the 200,000 people displaced as a result of instability in Cabo Delgado. The UK has committed over £3 million through the World Food Program and Food and Agricultural Organisation to deliver food assistance, shelter, improvement of water and sanitation, the treatment of acute malnutrition and agriculture recovery.

The Minister for Africa discussed the situation in northern Mozambique with the Deputy Minister for International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa on 16 July. They agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Southern African region and on central role of the Southern African Development Community in achieving this.