• Violence increases in Cabo Delgado resulting in displacement, protection needs, and deteriorated access to food and livelihoods

    Latest update: 21/06/2019


    Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely


    Very low Moderate Major

    Islamic extremists have been launching violent attacks on civilians in the northern province of Cabo Delgado since October 2017, resulting in at least 2,000 people displaced, nearly 300 people killed, and more than 1,000 properties destroyed. ? Events involving the group, known as Ahlu Sunna Wa-Jama, have been increasing, with 20 attacks in the first two months of 2019 compared with 50 in all of 2018. ?The group’s activities have been concentrated on the coast of Cabo Delgado from Pemba to the Tanzanian border, and recent events showed a possible shift in tactics from night-time attacks on isolated homes, to coordinated daytime attacks against employees of the foreign oil company Anadarko, currently leading the biggest liquefied natural gas project in the country worth 20 billion dollars?. Government response, however, is leading to human rights abuses. Government forces have detained journalists for covering events in Cabo Delgado and subjected civilians suspected of supporting the group to perquisitions, looting, and arbitrary detention. ? If the government fails to address the social, religious, and political dynamics behind the insurgency, the attacks are very likely to continue.

    The attacks have already affected the food security situation in Cabo Delgado, where Stressed levels (IPC-2) are reported along the coast compared to Minimal (IPC-1) food insecurity in the rest of the province. ? The insurgents’ strategy has been focused on destruction of property, burning houses and stalls, leading to displacement and shelter needs. ? Should this type of attack continue, food insecurity is likely to increase as more households are displaced and unable to access food or engage in agricultural activities.  Livelihoods will be impacted due to insecurity and destruction. Education will likely be affected due to fear of attacks on public schools by the armed group in a show of dissent towards the State. Protection issues are likely to increase, arising from both the insurgent activity and the response of government forces. Currently there are no reported constraints on humanitarian access.

    This risk was identified in the March Quarterly Risk Report

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