Showing posts with label mozambique. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mozambique. Show all posts

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Are Mozambique's insurgents really part of "ISIS"?

This is one of two newly-published supplements to PolGeoNow's Mozambique insurgency control map report series. The other revisits the question of the what the insurgents are actually called, still relevant one year after we first reported on their history and emergence onto the world stage.

Mozambique: Cabo Delgado conflict map - August 2021: Detailed, close-up control map showing areas occupied by so-called ISIS-linked rebels in northern Mozambique (also known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa Jama, ASWJ, Ansar al-Sunnah, or Al Shabaab), plus towns and villages raided by the insurgents over the past eight months. Situation after Rwandan military intervention that took back Mocímboa da Praia and other towns from the rebels. Shows roads, rivers, and terrain, and includes key locations of the insurgency such as Palma, Awasse, Nchinga, Ntotwe, the Total LNG site and natural gas fields, and many more towns and villages. Updated to August 31, 2021. Colorblind accessible.
Mozambique's insurgents have been pushed out of their most prized territories, but are still fighting on in other areas.

PolGeoNow's coverage of the insurgency in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province has, as usual, been largely focused on who controls what territory in the conflict - and though insurgents have recently lost their most prominent territorial holdings, they're still a force to be reckoned with. 

But there's one big question that still hangs over the story, relevant both to how the outside world should view the insurgency and to what the rebels are even called:

Are Mozambique's insurgents part of "ISIS"?

A year after they made international headlines by capturing and holding onto the major town of Mocímboa da Praia, the short answer is still "probably sort of".

The so-called "Islamic State" (IS; formerly ISIS or ISIL), though it started in Iraq and Syria and still is based there, has also established branches and franchises - with varying degrees of connection to IS headquarters - in far-flung countries around Africa and Asia. So the more specific question is: Are the Cabo Delgado insurgents genuinely connected to IS, and if so, how connected?

What are Mozambique's insurgents called?

This is one of two newly-published supplements to PolGeoNow's Mozambique insurgency control map series. The other provides an update on the question of what links really exist between the insurgents and the so-called "Islamic State" organization (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL).

Where is ISIS in Mozambique? Full-country map of insurgent control in northern Mozambique, with territorial control, roads, rivers, and terrain. Includes key locations of the insurgency such as Mocímboa da Praia, Palma, Macomia, Mucojo, Quissanga, Meluco, Muidumbe, Mueda, Quiterajo, and Nangade, as well as other important cities such as Pemba, Nampula, and Maputo. Neighboring countries shown, including Comoros, Madagascar, and French territories of Juan de Nova Island, Bassas da India, and Europa Island. Updated to July 29, 2021. Colorblind accessible.
At the height of their control earlier this year, secretive insurgents dominated a small but important corner of Mozambique. (Map from our July 2021 Cabo Delgado update.)
A Nearly-Nameless Insurgency

In our August 2020 Mozambique conflict map article, we discussed confusion over the name of the insurgent group operating in Cabo Delgado province. Now, a year later, we've decided it's time to briefly revisit that question. 

Though the fighters have now been pushed out of their most prized territories, they're still present in the region in large numbers, so questions about their identity remain highly relevant.

Al Shabaab in Mozambique?

At this point there's no longer much question that the group's most commonly-used name in Cabo Delgado - by both its opponents and the insurgents themselves - is "Al-Shabab". This unofficial name, which means "the youth" in Arabic (the international language of the Islamic religion, but not of everyday communication in Mozambique), appears to be a reference to the Al Shabaab insurgent group in Somalia. Though the word is usually spelled "Shabaab" in the Somali context, and international commentary often uses this spelling for the Cabo Delgado insurgents too, local spelling conventions in Mozambique tend to prefer "Shabab" without the double A.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Mozambique Control Map: Rebels Lose Mocímboa da Praia - August 2021 (Subscription)

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(To see other maps in this series, view all Mozambique articles on PolGeoNow.)

Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic. Timeline by Djordje Djukic.

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Mozambique: Cabo Delgado conflict map - August 2021: Detailed, close-up control map showing areas occupied by so-called ISIS-linked rebels in northern Mozambique (also known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa Jama, ASWJ, Ansar al-Sunnah, or Al Shabaab), plus towns and villages raided by the insurgents over the past eight months. Situation after Rwandan military intervention that took back Mocímboa da Praia and other towns from the rebels. Shows roads, rivers, and terrain, and includes key locations of the insurgency such as Palma, Awasse, Nchinga, Ntotwe, the Total LNG site and natural gas fields, and many more towns and villages. Updated to August 31, 2021. Colorblind accessible.
After the intervention of Rwandan forces, Insurgents aligned with the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL) have been pushed out of their most notable territories in Mozambique's far northern province of Cabo Delgado. However, they're believed to still be active in large numbers in more remote areas.
 
See all this and more on the newest update to PolGeoNow's Mozambique territorial control map, which includes a timeline of changes and important events since our previous Cabo Delgado map report in July.

This map and report are premium content, available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow Conflict Mapping Service.

(Note: Though Rwanda's defense department has been seen using our Cabo Delgado map in a press briefing, PolGeoNow has no known contact or business relationship with the Rwandan government or military, and the map was used without our prior knowledge. As always, PolGeoNow does not endorse any actor, organization, or policy in any armed conflict or political dispute.)

Want to see before you subscribe? Check out our most recent FREE SAMPLE Mozambique map!

Exclusive map report includes:

  • Detailed illustration of approximate current territorial control in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province, color-coded for insurgents affiliated with the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL) vs. the Mozambican government and allies (including Rwandan and SADC troops). Areas of contested or unclear control indicated separately. Colorblind accessible. 
  • Detailed indication of city-by-city control status, including for many relevant smaller towns and villages.
  • Detailed indication of which towns and villages have subject to insurgent raids or pro-government military operations since late July 2021.
  • Contextual details including district boundaries, rivers, major roads, and terrain.
  • Sites of international economic interest: Total's suspended LNG site, offshore natural gas fields, and Montepuez ruby mine.
  • Key locations from the news, including Palma, Mocímboa da Praia, Awasse, Ntotwe, Nchinga, and many more.
  • Accompanying article with detailed timeline of territorial control changes and key political and military developments since late July, with sources cited. 

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Friday, July 30, 2021

Mozambique Insurgency: Map of Control in Cabo Delgado - July 2021 (Subscription)

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There are newer editions of this map available. To see them, view all Mozambique articles on PolGeoNow.

Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic. Timeline by Djordje Djukic.

Subscribe for full access to all conflict map reports!

Mozambique: Cabo Delgado conflict map - July 2021: Detailed, close-up control map showing areas occupied by so-called ISIS-linked rebels in northern Mozambique (also known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa Jama, ASWJ, Ansar al-Sunnah, or Al Shabaab), plus towns and villages raided by the insurgents over the past eight months. Shows roads, rivers, and terrain, and includes key locations of the insurgency such as Palma, Mocímboa da Praia, Awasse, Diaca, the Total LNG site and natural gas fields, Muidumbe, Pangane, Quionga, Mitope and many more towns and villages. Updated to July 29, 2021. Colorblind accessible.
Insurgents with claimed ties to the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL) have mostly held onto their limited areas of control in Mozambique's far northern province of Cabo Delgado. But that could start changing fast, with newly-arrived Rwandan troops already on the offensive.
 
See all this and more on the newest update to PolGeoNow's Mozambique territorial control map, which includes a timeline of changes and important events since our previous Cabo Delgado map report in April.

This map and report are premium content, available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow Conflict Mapping Service.

Want to see before you subscribe? Check out our most recent FREE SAMPLE Mozambique map!

Exclusive map report includes:

  • Detailed illustration of approximate current territorial control in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province, color-coded for insurgents affiliated with the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL) vs. the Mozambican government and allies (including Rwandan troops). Areas of contested or unclear control indicated separately. Colorblind accessible. 
  • Detailed indication of city-by-city control status, including for many relevant smaller towns and villages.
  • Detailed indication of which towns and villages have subject to insurgent raids or government attacks since April 2021.
  • Contextual details including district boundaries, rivers, major roads, and terrain shading.
  • Sites of international economic interest: Total's under-construction LNG plant, offshore natural gas fields, and Montepuez ruby mine.
  • Key locations from the news, including Palma, Mocímboa da Praia, Awasse, Diaca, Ntchinga, Panjele, Quiwiya, and many more.
  • Accompanying article with detailed timeline of territorial control changes and key political and military developments since April, with sources cited. 

SUBSCRIBERS CLICK HERE TO PROCEED TO ARTICLE AND MAP

Not signed up yet? Click here to learn more about our professional subscription service!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Mozambique Insurgency: Close-up Map of Control in April 2021

There are newer editions of this map available. To see them, view all Mozambique articles on PolGeoNow.

It's finally here: the close-up, super-detailed version of our Mozambique insurgency control map! This edition depicts the situation near the beginning of this month, when the government was fighting for control of Palma. A new close-up version of our August 2020 map is also now available, and future updates are expected more frequently from now on. To see the full list of reports, you can always view all Mozambique articles on PolGeoNow.

Mozambique: Cabo Delgado conflict map - April 2021: Detailed, close-up control map showing areas occupied by so-called ISIS-linked rebels in northern Mozambique (also known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa Jama, ASWJ, Ansar al-Sunnah, or Al Shabaab), plus towns and villages raided by the insurgents over the past eight months. Shows roads, rivers, and terrain, and includes key locations of the insurgency such as Palma, Mocímboa da Praia, Awasse, Macomia, the Total LNG site and natural gas fields, Muidumbe, Pangane, Muatide, Vamizi Island, and many more towns and villages. Key locations across the border in Tanzania also shown. Updated to April 2, 2021. Colorblind accessible.
Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic. Some elements © OpenStreetMap contributors. Terrain data sourced from ViewFinderPanoramas. Contact us for permission to use this map.

(Subscribers click here to view this article in the member area)

Timeline by Djordje Djukic and Evan Centanni

New: Close-up Cabo Delgado Insurgency Map

In the eight months since our first Mozambique conflict timeline was published, insurgents in Cabo Delgado province have gradually increased their control, continuing to raid villages and towns in multiple districts, culminating most recently in their temporary takeover of most of Palma, a major town close to under-construction natural gas facilities operated by French company Total. The rebel group - locally known as "Al Shabaab" but thought to formally label itself Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamâ (ASWJ) - is increasingly believed to be cooperating, if only loosely, with the so-called "Islamic State" (IS; ISIS/ISIL).

Now, for the first time, PolGeoNow presents our close-up map of the Cabo Delgado conflict, rigorously researched and edited to provide the most detailed, informative, and reliable map of insurgent control and attacks available anywhere.

Mozambique Insurgency: 2017-2020 Close-up Map & Expanded Timeline (Subscription)

SUBSCRIBERS CLICK HERE TO PROCEED TO ARTICLE AND MAP

There are newer editions of this map available. To see them, view all Mozambique articles on PolGeoNow.

Map and report by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic

Subscribe for full access to all conflict map reports!

Mozambique: Cabo Delgado insurgency map - October 2017 to August 2020: Detailed, close-up control map showing areas occupied by so-called ISIS-linked rebels in northern Mozambique (also known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa Jama, ASWJ, or Ansar al-Sunnah), plus towns and villages raided by the insurgents over the past three years. Shows roads, rivers, and terrain, and includes key locations of the insurgency such as Mocímboa da Praia, Awasse, Macomia, the Total LNG site and natural gas fields, Miangalewa, Litingina, Ntessa, Cagembe, Marere, Makulo, and many, many more. Colorblind accessible.
This is an alternate version of our free August 2020 Mozambique control map and report, now featuring a close-up map with much more detail. In addition to territorial control, the map also indicates the locations of other 2017-2020 insurgent attacks and government raids.
 
Included in the accompanying report is a revised and expanded timeline of events since 2017, focusing in on the details of where and when attacks and fighting have happened.

This map and report are premium content, available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow Conflict Mapping Service.

Want to see before you subscribe? Check out our most recent FREE SAMPLE Mozambique map!

Exclusive map report includes:

  • Detailed illustration of territorial control in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province in August 2020, color-coded for insurgents affiliated with the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL) vs. the Mozambican government and allies (including Dyck private military contractors). Areas of contested or unclear control indicated separately. Colorblind accessible. 
  • Detailed indication of city-by-city control status, including for many relevant smaller towns and villages.
  • Detailed indication of which towns and villages were subject to insurgent raids or government attacks from the beginning of armed conflict in October 2017 up to the capture of Mocímboa da Praia town in August 2020.
  • Contextual details like district boundaries, rivers, major roads, and terrain shading.
  • Sites of international economic interest: Total's under-construction LNG plant, offshore natural gas fields, and Montepuez ruby mine.
  • Key locations from the news, including Mocímboa da Praia, Awasse, Macomia, Miangalewa, Litingina, Ntessa, Cagembe, Marere, Makulo, and many, many more.
  • Accompanying article with detailed timeline of territorial control changes and key political and military developments since the outbreak of armed conflict in October 2017, with sources cited. 

SUBSCRIBERS CLICK HERE TO PROCEED TO ARTICLE AND MAP


Not signed up yet? Click here to learn more about our professional subscription service!

Monday, August 17, 2020

"Islamic State" in Mozambique? Control Map & Timeline of the Insurgency

There are newer editions of this map available. To see them, view all Mozambique articles on PolGeoNow.

This is the first edition of our new Mozambique control map series. To guarantee your access to future updates, sign up our conflict map subscription service (updates may be released for free if changes end up being very few or far between).

Mozambique Insurgency: Map of ISIS control in Mozambique, or of control by local insurgent group Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamâ / Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamaa / Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jamaah (al-Sunna / al-Sunnah) in northern Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province, with territorial control, roads, rivers, and terrain. Includes key locations of the insurgency such as Mocímboa da Praia, Awasse, Macomia, Mucojo, Quissanga, Meluco, Muidumbe, Mueda, Mitumbate (Mutumbate), Palma, Pundanhar, and Nangade, as well as other important cities such as Pemba, Nampula, and Maputo. Neighboring countries shown, including Comoros, Madagascar, and French territories of Juan de Nova Island, Bassas da India, and Europa Island. Updated to August 17, 2020. Colorblind accessible.
Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic. Contact us for permission to use this map. Terrain data sourced from ViewFinderPanoramas.

(Subscribers click here to view this article in the member area)

Article by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic

Northern Mozambique's Insurgency: What We Do and Don't Know

Mozambique: Cabo Delgado insurgency map - October 2017 to August 2020: Detailed, close-up control map showing areas occupied by so-called ISIS-linked rebels in northern Mozambique (also known as Ahlu Sunnah Wa Jama, ASWJ, or Ansar al-Sunnah), plus towns and villages raided by the insurgents over the past three years. Shows roads, rivers, and terrain, and includes key locations of the insurgency such as Mocímboa da Praia, Awasse, Macomia, the Total LNG site and natural gas fields, Miangalewa, Litingina, Ntessa, Cagembe, Marere, Makulo, and many, many more. Colorblind accessible.
Close-up version of the above map, with expanded timeline (subscriber exclusive; click for more info).
International headlines broke last week describing a takeover of a northern Mozambique "city" by what many of them called the "Islamic State" (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL). If this came as a complete surprise to you, you're not alone - even international analysts were startled when the insurgency began in 2017, and though the insurgents have actually overrun Mocímboa da Praia more than once since then, news coverage has been pretty limited.

At PolGeoNow, researcher Djordje Djukic has been keeping an eye on this conflict for some time, and we're now pleased to present what we believe to be the world's first map series documenting territorial control in the northern Mozambique insurgency. 

Update: A much more detailed close-up version of the above map, adding insurgent raids and accompanied by an expanded timeline, is now available to our paid subscribers.