African specialist on terrorism and extremism, Jasmine Opperman, says what is happening in Mozambique is embarrassing for the country’s government.
As many as 60 people, mostly foreign nationals, are reported to be unaccounted for following a deadly ambush on their convoy by militants in the town of Palma in northern Mozambique.
Only seven vehicles in a convoy of 17 made it to safety after the attack on Wednesday.
Some survivors evacuated from Palma:
Authorities say seven people including one South Africa identified as Adrian Nel are confirmed dead and many others have been found wounded in the recovered vehicles.
The civilians are believed to include foreign workers from countries including South Africa.
Opperman says the Mozambican government is in denial about the root cause of the insurgency.
“Government policy failure or negligence cannot be ignored as drivers. There’s an extremist voice at play here, a link to Islamist extremism in Kabul and how people locally perceive this to play out. Are there links with terror organisations? Definitely, with the Islamist State, there has been communication but to go and call this an Islamic State insurgency is ludicrous, for there is simply no evidence. But that extremism is present, that they are exploiting the local grievances as we have seen in so many other places,” explains Opperman.
Around 60 people unaccounted for in Mozambique: