Photo: F Mira

COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor – 29 April 2021

During the COVID-19 crisis ACCORD's analysis is focused on the impact of the pandemic on conflict and resilience in Africa.

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
References: AfricaCDC, ACLED and African Arguments

This week the Monitor turns its focus to the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique, as SADC considers various options to respond as a region. Our feature piece is by Ambassador Maman Sidikou, the Executive Secretary of the G5 Sahel, who reflects on the lessons that Mozambique and SADC can learn from their experience with preventing and countering violent extremism in the Sahel.

Rui Saraiva considers the multiple pressures on the people of Cabo Delgado, including the violent insurgency, environmental disasters, displacement and also COVID-19, and he argues that pragmatic, adaptive, and holistic approaches focused on resilience will more effectively address the interplay between violent extremism and human security threats. 

Professor Sozinho Francisco Matsinhe provides a detailed overview of the conflict in Cabo Delgado. His piece outlines the various narratives which surround the conflict, reflects on its root causes and provides a discussion on the possible strategies going forward. ACCORD’s Cedric de Coning draws lessons from Africa’s experiences with responding to violent extremism in Somalia and argues for a comprehensive approach that is politically-led and that focusses on governance, the rule of law, development, and security, as opposed to a military-only counter insurgency operation. 

We close with a contribution by Emmerson Ubisse on the role of the religious communities in helping to resolve the conflict in Cabo Delgado.

Special Guest Editor
Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Chief Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
Photo: La Moncloa on Flickr
Photo: La Moncloa on Flickr
Maman Sambo Sidikou
Cross-border / Inter-State tensions, Features

Lessons learned from the G5 Sahel Force for Mozambique, SADC and the AU

  • Maman Sambo Sidikou

The Group of Five for the Sahel, commonly known as the G5 SAHEL was created in 2014 by the governments of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger as a platform to collectively address the development and security challenges confronting them. When carefully analysed, one can see some similarities between Cabo Delgado’s growing challenges with violent extremism and the case of the Sahel.

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
References: Data source ACLED visuals J. Luengo-Cabrera

On 22 March 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was announced in Mozambique, followed by the government’s declaration of its first state of emergency on 1 April 2020. In the northern region of Cabo Delgado and neighbouring provinces, the spread of the virus is of additional relevance as, at the time of writing, more than 670,000 people have been displaced due to violent extremist attacks.

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Photo: Sigrid Ekman
Photo: Sigrid Ekman

On 5 October 2017, unknown armed men attacked the town of Mocimboa da Praia, in the far North of the Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado. The attack primarily targeted government institutions, with a focus on police stations. The attack was later determined to have been carried out by members of the local communities, primarily young Muslim men. The government’s security forces acted quickly to stop the attacks and keep the situation under control. As a result, some of the attackers were either killed or arrested. This appears to have infuriated them, as they simply went underground and metamorphosed into guerrilla units capable of confronting government security forces after three years.

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AU-UN IST Photo / Tobin Jones
AU-UN IST Photo / Tobin Jones
Cedric de Coning
Political Unrest or Violence

Lessons for Cabo Delgado from the African experience in Somalia

  • Cedric de Coning

What can we learn from the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for Cabo Delgado? One key lesson from the Somalia experience is that a security operation like AMISOM can create the opportunity for stabilisation, but for that opportunity to be turned into reality one needs a significant focus on political engagement, governance, rule of law, basic services and socio-economic development. 

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Photo: Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us
Photo: Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us

Peace is undoubtedly the basis for the development of any society, especially for developing countries. In Africa, peace may be accepted as the absence of armed conflicts or the silence of weapons – even though poverty, the result of injustice and social inequalities, exacerbated by the unequal distribution of wealth, as well as corruption, unemployment and natural disasters, among other evils, are prevalent throughout the continent – and this much desired laying down of arms and absence of armed conflicts by a considerable number of African countries is an essential condition for combating poverty, restoring justice, socioeconomic and political stability, and sustainable development, including at regional and continental levels. 

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ACCORD recognizes its longstanding partnerships with the European Union, and the Governments of Canada, Finland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, UK, and USA.

ACCORD recognizes its longstanding partnerships with the European Union, and the Governments of Canada, Finland, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, UK, and USA.

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