IS and US up the rhetoric

Islamic State has begun calling Cabo Delgado insurgents IS Mozambique, adopting the label first imposed by the United State in March last year. Although the insurgency is still largely domestic and there is no evidence that IS plays a major role, it appears that the two global actors have decided that Mozambique is to be one of their battlegrounds. And on 4 April the US named Mozambique as one of five countries given special attention under the Global Fragility Act (GFA).

According to the US Institute of Peace (5 Apr) the number one criteria from choosing a GFA country is "US national security interests." The US, as usual, is offering a lot of money - but do Mozambicans want their country to be used for another proxy war? The one in the 1980s cost the lives of 1 million Mozambicans.

The IS and GFA labels appear to have been applied without talking to Mozambicans. The GFA act requires consultation with national and local government and local NGOs. The US State Department said Acting Assistant Secretary for Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations Robert Faucher during his visit to Maputo in October 2021 held "consultations with government counterparts, civil society representatives, and other partners" on the GFA designation, but refused to give more details. (Joseph Hanlon)

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