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Updated May 5, 2020

There has been a growing insurgent threat in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique, one of the poorest areas in the country despite being rich in natural resources and with vast natural gas and oil reserves off the coast. The majority of the population is Muslim.

The government’s response to the increase in violent attacks on civilians in the province has led to human rights abuses, including the intimidation and detainment of journalists. This has led to journalists engaging in various forms of self-censorship out of fear of reprisals from insurgents or the authorities.

 

Heavy-handed police operations in Cabo Delgado have sparked protests.

 

Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi arrives to attend a reception for heads of State and Government at Buckingham Palace in London on January 20, 2020, following the UK-Africa Investment Summit. HENRY NICHOLLS / POOL / AFP
Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi arrives at a reception following the UK-Africa Investment Summit in January 2020.

 

More than twenty press freedom organizations raised their concerns with President Filipe Nyusi, specifically concerning harassment by police and military personnel, and the disappearance of journalist Ibrahimo Abu Mbaruco on April 7, who is believed to have been either detained or shot by Mozambican soldiers.

Heavy-handed police operations in Cabo Delgado have sparked protests by civilians angered at the abuse they have witnessed or experienced.

With insurgent violence growing more brutal in Cabo Delgado, public support for the authorities is vital for counter-insurgency operations to be successful

 

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