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As the United States Pentagon and State Department make a rapid disastrous evacuation from the Central Asian state of Afghanistan, another war is underway in the resource-rich Southern African state of Mozambique.
This threat to the national security of Mozambique and the entire region of Southern Africa, has gained almost no coverage in the western corporate and government-controlled media outlets.
Led by the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) ruling party since 1975, this former Portuguese colony has undergone tumultuous historical conjunctures over the last five centuries. As a coastal state, Mozambique proved to be a valuable source of profit through labor, agricultural and hydro-electric exploitation of its resources.
The independence movement took up weaponry after appeals for a peaceful transition to majority rule were closed within the context of the Portuguese colonial and fascist system of governance. Mozambique was administered from Lisbon as an overseas territory of this backward and waning European power which was allied with the U.S. within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Since late 2017, a group calling itself “al-Shabaab”, ostensibly not affiliated within the rebel organization of the same name in Somalia, has waged war on the Mozambican government and people. Cabo Delgado province is the focus of the insurgency which is the center of a natural gas development project.
Mozambique, along with other neighboring and contiguous states along the eastern and southeastern coast of Africa, such as Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda, have experienced tremendous discoveries of natural gas and petroleum resources inland and offshore. Africa as a whole has for centuries been a source of strategic minerals and energy resources which have been hoarded by the world capitalist system.
Member-states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a 16-member regional federation which often takes similar political and economic positions on a variety of continental and international questions, had expressed grave concerns about the increasing instability in Mozambique. Later the government of the East African state of Rwanda offered assistance to Maputo in fighting the al-Shabaab rebels.
The French-based Total Energies corporation has invested heavily in the development of the Indian Ocean coastal area near Palma. Reports indicate that the project to produce Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is currently valued at $US20 billion.
As a result of the fighting in Cabo Delgado around Palma, Total halted the LNG development project due to security concerns. Some media outlets in Mozambique have reportedly suggested that France is financing the military operations by Rwanda and other states from SADC.
Whether this is true or not, the recapture of Mocimboa da Praia has prompted confidence in the future security status of Cabo Delgado. The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), M. Akinwumi Adesina, said in a recent statement that the project could resume within 18 months.
A report published by Reuters press agency quoted Adesina as saying:
“The return of security in that place will give assurances to Total and others to return. In one year to 18 months, I expect it to be stabilized enough to get back on track. It gave us real concern when Total declared force majeure and they had to move out.