Managing VE in Mozambique

Strategic Options for Managing Violent Extremism in Southern Africa: The Case of Mozambique

Southern Africa is experiencing an upsurge in violent extremism (VE). The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique and Tanzania have all experienced attacks by extremist groups, with events in Cabo Delgado province in Northern Mozambique in particular making international headlines in recent years. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has been called on to support the Mozambican government, and has deployed a Standby Force to the area. Although a force intervention may help to limit violent attacks, it cannot bring lasting peace. This would require addressing the complex political, economic and social factors that have created a breeding ground for VE.

The purpose of this report is to present strategic options for managing VE in Southern Africa, particularly in Cabo Delgado. The effective management of VE requires comprehensive and multifaceted analyses, an identification of the interests and concerns of the various role players, and strategic initiatives that are multi-pronged, inclusive, and address the concerns of the state, communities, and those prone to radicalisation. Cooperation and coordination among various government agencies and with other actors involved and interested in building solutions are key to preventing and countering VE.

Strategists must draw together different viewpoints, understand competitive solutions, evaluate the multiple challenges facing each approach, examine possible scenarios, and work with those who can build a coherent strategy. An effective strategy should avoid ad-hoc remedies, incorporate a multi-disciplinary approach, and capture the ‘big picture’.

Although some lessons might be learnt from other regions, Southern Africa and its member states need to develop their own understandings and strategies, appropriate to their specific context. This report seeks to contribute to this process by analysing the context of VE in Southern Africa, particularly in Mozambique, before concluding with recommendations.

By: Énio Viegas Filipe Chingotuane and Egna Rachel Isaias Sidumo, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Joaquim Chissano University
Cheryl Hendricks and Anthoni van Nieuwkerk, Southern African Defence and Security Management Network
Pages: 26
Dimensions: A4
Date of publication: 2021