Mozambique. According to countryaah, President Armando Guebuza has invested heavily in infrastructure projects to promote in-country communications and mineral extraction. Two major rail projects to transport coal to the sea from mines in the Tete Province received their funding. The European Investment Bank lent EUR 65 million for a railway to Beira and upgrading, including dredging, of the worn port there. In total, the project is estimated at EUR 195 million. Later, the EU, like the Netherlands and Denmark, entered a total of EUR 500 million in a railway to the northern port of Nacala in a project to be completed in 2015.
At the beginning of the year, Brazilian mining company Vale and Australian Riverdale had signed a total of € 1.58 billion for coal mining in Tete. After more than 30 years of work, a 2.5 km long bridge across the Zambezi River was inaugurated in August, which dramatically improved communications between the country’s southern and northern parts. The long wait for a ferry could previously delay a trip of up to a few days.
A planned building of an oil refinery for EUR 5.6 billion had to be relocated because it was placed too close to sensitive nature conservation areas, including an elephant sanctuary. The construction is still expected to be completed in 2014.
Although there is dissatisfaction with the lack of jobs and housing, President Guebuza and the FRELIMO government party were nonetheless rewarded for the economic progress of superior victories in the general elections in October. Guebuza was re-elected for a second five-year term with about three-quarters of the vote, and FRELIMO strengthened its already large majority in Parliament with over 70 percent of voter support.
Soldiers are killed by jihadists
Military sources say militant Islamists in northern Mozambique have killed at least 25 soldiers in an ambush. The attack took place in the Muidumbe district, the same area where about 50 people were killed in early November (see November 9). The rebels have recently also begun to act at sea. At least seven smaller transport boats have been hijacked and their crews abducted since November 23. The sea route between the ports of northern Mozambique has become increasingly important as insecurity on land has worsened. The United States joins international actors who promise to support Mozambique in the fight against terrorism.
Cooperation with Tanzania against terrorism
Mozambique and Tanzania enter into a co-operation agreement to assist each other in the fight against militant Islamists. The agreement was signed by the countries’ top police chiefs at a meeting in the Tanzanian city of Mtwara. It specifies how the collaboration will actually take place. This includes the exchange of information and intelligence, and that more than 500 suspected perpetrators arrested in Tanzania must be handed over to the neighboring country. The Islamists are primarily terrorizing the oil-rich Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, which borders Tanzania. In recent months, they have also raided the border with Tanzania. One week later, five presidents from southern Africa gather in a crisis meeting and decide on a “regional response” to the uprising in northern Mozambique. Exactly what that means is not clear.
50 people are killed by Islamist rebels
Islamist rebels are attacking several villages in the Muidumbe district, in the province of Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique. The group loot the residents, burn down their houses and abduct an unknown number of women and children. A few days later, about 50 dead men and boys were found whose bodies had been mutilated, several of them beheaded. The Islamists suspected of being behind the massacre belong to the Islamic State Central Africa Province and have been ravaging the province since 2017. The refugee flows away from the violence continue. Towards the end of November, the refugee agency IOM announces that another 33,000 people have left their homes. A total of 355,000 are on the run, according to the IOM, while the government states that the number of refugees is rather just over 400,000.