The Mozambican crisis

Prelude to a regional conflagration?



After months of escalation in northern Mozambique, the humanitarian crisis is deepening. Furthermore the effects of instability are being felt beyond Mozambique’s borders. Over 700,000 people have been internally displaced, and nearly a million are facing food shortages. The crisis has gained the world’s attention.

Efforts to contain and defeat the militants in Northern Mozambique—and to protect international natural gas investments—have included ineffective deployments of local security forces, as well as Russian and South African private security contractors. The United States is providing military training to help local forces counter the threat. The European Union is also seriously considering sending military trainers, a step already been taken by Portugal.

Meanwhile, Mozambique’s southern African neighbors have become increasingly alarmed by the apparent strength and resilience of the insurgency and are concerned about possible regional impacts. This poses a challenge for the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The regional body has a negative record in cases of military intervention. Recently SADC sent a mission to Mozambique that reportedly recommended the organization to deploy a significant military force involving nearly 3,000 troops to help restore security in the Cabo Delgado province. However, a summit in order to discuss this proposal was postponed.

Not only Southern African states are confronted with Mozambique’s instability. International attention also lies on maritime security in the Mozambique Channel, an important global shipping route, in the context of broader geopolitics. Investments around Mozambique’s offshore LNG deposits are in question, as insecurity rises.

In the light of these developments, the Department for Subsaharan-Africa of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung will hold a virtual seminar in order to discuss the ongoing crisis.

The guiding questions for the panel discussion are:

  1. What are the reasons for the crisis in Cabo Delgado, which is threatening to negatively impact the Southern African region as a whole?
  2. What measures are being taken by the government of Mozambique to counter the aggression by the militants?
  3. What is the sentiment in the Mozambican population regarding the insurgency and what are the effects on the society at large?
  4. How can the international community contribute to a lasting peaceful solution?


10:00 a.m. – Introduction

Dr. Stefan Friedrich

Head of Department for Sub-Sahara Africa, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Berlin

10:15 a.m. – Keynote

Dr. Alex Vines OBE

Head of Africa Programme, Chatham House, London, United Kingdom

10:30 a.m. – Panel Discussion

International Experts

Hon. Lutero Simango

Member of Parliament MDM, Mozambique

Dr. Melanie Müller

Senior Associate – Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik
​​​​​​​Berlin, Germany

H.E. Lothar Freischlader

Ambassador to Mozambique, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany


David Mbae

Policy Advisor, Department for Sub-Sahara Africa, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Berlin

11:15 a.m. – End of Seminar

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  • Dr. Stefan Friedrich
    • Dr. Alex Vines OBE
      • Hon. Lutero Simango
        • Dr. Melanie Müller
          • H.E. Lothar Freischlader
            • David Mbae