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Blow to IS Affiliate in Mozambique

Published September 21, 2023
8 months ago

Mozambique's fight against the Islamic State (IS) received a significant boost with the reported death in combat of Bonomade Machude Omar, the militant military Commander of IS' active Mozambican faction. This crucial victory stands as a testament to the government's determination and progress in battling the insurgency threatening national security and infrastructural development in the region.

Since 2017, the insurgency, led by Omar, has disrupted Cabo Delgado province's numerous natural gas ventures, including those advanced by TotalEnergies SE and ExxonMobil Corp. The accumulative worth of these projects is estimated to hover above the $50 billion mark, evidencing the substantial stakes at hand.

A statement from Joaquim Mangrasse, chief of Mozambique Armed Forces' general staff, announced the insurgent leader's death on a national TV broadcast. His death marks a severe drawback for the rebels whose threats have persisted for close to five years in the southeast African nation.

Omar's strategic role in the coordination and facilitation of attacks, including the infamous Amarula Hotel siege in March 2021, made him a serious national threat, earning him sanctions from the US State Department in 2021.

Analysts believe that his death, along with other high-ranking insurgents, could signal the insurgency's decline, providing a conducive environment for the resumption of previously halted LNG operations in Cabo Delgado.

Despite this development, the security situation in Cabo Delgado is far from stable. The IS affiliate has shown signs of fragmentation, with militants dividing into smaller factions to continue the battle. However, the noticeable slowdown in attack incidences this year and the scaling down of operational capabilities highlights significant advancements in the ongoing counterinsurgency efforts.

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