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Response to violent extremism in Cabo Delgado still “uncoordinated” — report

Humanitarian efforts have also been undermined by human rights abuses by the security forces, and corruption which has channelled aid disproportionately to Frelimo war veterans and their families

A meeting between government and donors to align priorities in Cabo Delgado, February 2023. Photo: Ministério da Economia e Finanças

The fight against violent extremism in northern Mozambique has been hindered by a lack of coordination between the humanitarian, development and peace sectors, according to a new report published this week by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in Mozambique.

The report studies the ‘triple nexus’ of the humanitarian, development and peace sectors (HDP) which, the CDD says, must work in concert with each other in areas where conflict coexists with economic and state fragility.

Following two months of field research in Mocímboa da Praia in late 2022, the study points to an unwillingness among military actors to share information with non-military actors, and a sense of competition between humanitarian and development programmes, as the two principal challenges undermining the response to violent extremism.

The study also argues that the government has placed undue emphasis on the military response to the insurgency while neglecting social and economic considerations. At the same time, humanitarian efforts have been undermined by human rights abuses committed by the security forces and corruption which has channelled aid disproportionately to the Association of Combatants of the National Liberation Struggle and their relatives.

The Northern Integrated Development Agency (ADIN) is in theory responsible for coordinating development projects but CDD found it does not have sufficient resources and is therefore “limited in [its] ability to implement actions.”

Zitamar understands from a well-placed source in Cabo Delgado that ADIN has been largely sidelined in its role as a project coordinator by organisations such as the United Nations Office for Project Services. Notably, at a meeting on 16 February 2023, international development partners asked the Mozambican Ministry of Economy and Finance for a platform to coordinate actions, which is supposed to be ADIN’s job, indicating it is not fulfilling its responsibilities.  

CDD concludes that Cabo Delgado needs transparent and inclusive institutions to coordinate and fund HDP efforts, which could involve empowering ADIN and INGD, the national disaster management agency. The report also recommends funding research to identify the root causes of the insurgency so HDP projects can be properly targeted.

This article was produced by Zitamar News under the Cabo Ligado project, in collaboration with ACLED. The contents of the article are the sole responsibility of Zitamar News.