Mozambique: Islamist attacks near gas projects pose increasing security threat; including comments from Total and ExxonMobil
Author: Reuters & US News, Published on: 27 March 2020
"Mozambique Army, Islamist Insurgents Battle in Town Close to Gas Projects - Police", 23 March 2020.
Mozambican troops battled Islamist insurgents in a town in a northern town on Monday close to billion-dollar gas projects being developed by Exxon Mobil and Total, police said...The town is strategically important to the projects. Until recently it was the main airport for workers travelling to the site, before a landing strip was built at Afungi itself, and its port is also used for some cargo deliveries for the projects...The insurgents started staging attacks in Cabo Delgado in 2017, threatening security in a nation set to become a global gas exporter following one of the biggest gas finds in a decade offshore Cabo Delgado. Little is known about the insurgents, though initial attacks were claimed by a group known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama. More recently, Islamic State has claimed a number of attacks.
More than 900 people have been reported killed in the province since 2017, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project, an NGO...Total said it was aware of the developing situation in Mocimboa do Praia, but the Afungi site remained secure and all of members of its team accounted for. Both Exxon and Total said the safety of their employees was a priority and they were monitoring developments and working with the relevant authorities on security. Reuters reported in January that the oil companies had requested more government troops be bought in to protect the site amid a rise in the number of attacks.