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Targeted Groups
Alert Status
Genocide Stage(s)
  • Cabo Delgado residents & refugees

  • Residents who refuse to join Al-Shabaab

  • Al-Sunnah wa Jamaah (ASWJ) / "al-Shabaab"

Stage 5: Organization, Stage 9: Extermination
Archaeological Map

Country Overview

Al Jazeera


Since 2017, a homegrown fundamentalist Islamist group, Al-Sunnah wa Jamaah, or "al-Shabaab," has violently targeted residents of the northern Cabo Delgado province. The violence by and recruitment into the group has been fueled by the ethnoreligious marginalization of Muslims and resentment toward southerners' domination of the political system, which has been ongoing since the 1977-1992 civil war. Residents of Cabo Delgado have also been unable to reap the benefits of mining and gas extraction by international companies. Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for Al-Shabaab's activities. Despite the primary importance of frustrations caused by marginalization, and the very weak link with IS in reality, there is a significant ideological side to al-Shabaab's terrorism. The group has committed massacres and mass beheadings against Cabo Delgado residents who refuse to join their cause. The violence has triggered a major humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of thousands of civilians fleeing abroad, and a militarized response from the Mozambican government and foreign troops. 

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Is ISIL gaining a foothold in southern Africa? | Inside Story, Al Jazeera

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Tracing the history of Mozambique’s mysterious and deadly insurgency | Eric Morier-Genoud, The Conversation

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‘I ran, my heart was broken’: inside Mozambique’s evolving Cabo Delgado conflict | Neha Wadekar in Savane, The Guardian

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