Africa must unite against jihadists

Northern Mozambique seems to be descending rapidly into "Heart of Darkness" territory, as a brutal struggle between government forces and jihadist insurgents starts to threaten stability in the entire southern African region. This week, the Mozambique government said it was investigating the authenticity of a video which purports to show uniformed soldiers first beating a naked woman and then summarily executing her. On the video, one of the killers is heard denouncing the woman as a spy for al-Shabaab, which is what the extremists call their organisation. This week, it also emerged that the rebels had made significant gains by...
Northern Mozambique seems to be descending rapidly into "Heart of Darkness" territory, as a brutal struggle between government forces and jihadist insurgents starts to threaten stability in the entire southern African region.

This week, the Mozambique government said it was investigating the authenticity of a video which purports to show uniformed soldiers first beating a naked woman and then summarily executing her. On the video, one of the killers is heard denouncing the woman as a spy for al-Shabaab, which is what the extremists call their organisation.

This week, it also emerged that the rebels had made significant gains by occupying islands, including those near resort operations linked to South African companies.

Apart from religion – and dissatisfaction with the Maputo government among people – there is the complicating factor of natural resources, because the area has seen an important gas field discovery. Whenever gas or oil is involved in a region, sooner or later the world's big powers will come sniffing, either to protect the strike, or to oust those exploiting it.

This is how rebel movements get their finance and training. It is time for the governments of Africa to stand together to fight this scourge and say: Enough is enough.

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