Cabo Ligado Weekly: 25-31 May 2020

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Cabo Ligado — or ‘connected cape’ — is a new conflict observatory monitoring political violence in Mozambique, launched in partnership with Zitamar News and Mediafax with the support of the International Crisis Group.

Situation Summary: 25-31 May

The insurgency in Cabo Delgado came roaring back to life last week after a short lull, with insurgents forcing government forces from the district capital of Macomia on 28 May. That attack, which killed at least 17 civilians and five members of the Mozambican police Rapid Intervention Unit and potentially many more, marks the fourth district capital insurgents have taken in the last three months. Government forces are back in control in Macomia, but the attack has sparked another mass exodus of civilians in search of safety from the conflict. The government has portrayed the battle as a victory and claimed to have killed two insurgent leaders, but government spokesmen have offered no proof for the claim and their victory narratives ring hollow. The fundamental dynamics of the conflict remain unchanged — insurgents continue to demonstrate the ability to strike at will within the established conflict zone, government forces remain stretched and unable to provide effective security within the province, and civilian confidence in the government’s ability to protect them continues to drop.