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Mozambique Government Says It Has Retaken Palma Town

Africa | Mozambique April 6, 2021

(Photo: Maputo - Katembe Bridge)

Government of Mozambique has announced that its troops have retaken the town of Palma that was captured by Islamist insurgents on March 28, 2021. That was reported by some media on April 6, 2021.

The capture of Palma town was a continuation of series of bloody armed attacks that have characterized the country’s natural asset rich but impoverished income wise province of Cabo Delgabo since 2017. The attacks and subsequent capture of Palma town led to a halt of ongoing multi-billion dollars oil and gas projects in the province including a $20 billion liquified natural gas (LNG) project by Total. Whether the companies involved in the projects will feel secure now after the government announcement and resume their operations in the province, is not known.

The Islamist insurgents terrorizing Cabo Delgabo province, said to be affiliated to the notorious terrorist group ISIS, have reportedly attracted some foreign fighters from as far-flung places as Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and even neighboring countries like Tanzania and South Africa. That is said to have complicated the insurgency that was initially seen as a local issue emanating probably from non-inclusive national economic policies.

Another stumbling block that may be making it difficult to contain the insurgency according to some political analysts, is reluctance by the government of Mozambique to accept foreign direct military help in its fight against the Islamist insurgents. Reluctance said to be probably out of fear and pride that accepting such help may be seeing as indication that Mozambique’s army is too weak to fight! That may be unacceptable bitter pill to swallow for Mozambique given the country’s recent history of fearless fight and eventual victory against the mighty Portuguese colonial army.


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