Amid an escalating armed battle in Mozambique, the Pentagon has despatched US particular operations troops to the southern African nation. The deployment of those troops, certified as “trainers” and “advisers” and justified within the title of the infinite “warfare on terror”, gives additional affirmation of the worldwide escalation of American militarism by the Biden administration. together with on the African continent.
Introduced mid-last month, the U.S. deployment got here amid a brutal escalation within the civil warfare unfolding in Mozambique’s northernmost province, Cabo Delgado, the place the Mozambican authorities is dealing with an insurgency among the many predominantly Muslim inhabitants on this area.
The newest combating has centered within the metropolis of Palma, the hub for the exploitation of the nation’s pure fuel fields, which was seized by rebels late final month, sending round 11,000 folks fleeing to the port metropolis of Pemba on the Indian Ocean. In accordance with the United Nations, some 670,000 folks have been displaced since combating within the area started in 2017.
Commander Chongo Vidigal, the pinnacle of the federal government forces despatched to recapture Palma from the rebels, instructed media on Sunday that the realm was now “protected”. An earlier try and convey journalists to the scene, nonetheless, was aborted after the helicopter flying them into the town was fired upon.
The primary goal of the army operation was to safe the positioning of a $ 60 billion liquefied pure fuel venture initiated by French power large Whole, which demanded a safe perimeter of 15 miles as a situation of his presence continues. Not resuming operations till March 24 after shutting down its services following an earlier insurgent offensive earlier this yr, Whole closed its doorways once more, dragging all its workers out of the area. Along with the power transnational primarily based in France, the Italian IEI and the American firm ExxonMobil even have pursuits in Mozambique’s pure fuel reserves, thought of to be among the many largest on the planet.
Simply days earlier than the dispatch of US particular forces troops, on March 11, Washington designated “ISIS-Mozambique” as a “international terrorist group”, paving the best way for US army intervention. The US Embassy in Maputo mentioned Washington “is dedicated to supporting Mozambique with a multifaceted and holistic method to counter and forestall the unfold of terrorism and violent extremism.”
The “ISIS-Mozambique” label is an invention of the US State Division. Domestically, the insurgents are often called al-Shabab, in Arabic for “youth,” and haven’t any reference to the Somali-based Islamist rebel group of the identical title. Whereas ISIS has posted movies falsely claiming duty for the Mozambican insurgency assaults, there isn’t a proof of any operational hyperlinks between ISIS and the insurrection in northern Mozambique, not to mention a menace of worldwide terrorism.
The federal government of President Filipe Nyusi in Maputo, the capital of southern Mozambique, has pushed the “terrorist” label and Washington has embraced it enthusiastically. Their goal is to cowl up the complicated political and social roots of the battle and to justify a marketing campaign of counterinsurgency geared toward defending the pursuits of a ruling nationwide oligarchy, transnational power corporations and international finance capital.
The roots of the insurgency in Cabo Delgado lie within the circumstances of evident inequality that characterize Mozambique, the place, in response to figures launched earlier than the affect of the COVID-19 pandemic, greater than half of the inhabitants lives in circumstances of absolute poverty. Wealth is monopolized by a small ruling elite dominated by the ruling FRELIMO (Entrance for the Liberation of Mozambique) get together and its cohorts and concentrated in Maputo.
Cabo Delgado, among the many least developed areas of the nation, has seen rising quantities of wealth extracted from beneath its soil with the event of pure fuel tasks in addition to the extraction of rubies. Nevertheless, just about none of this wealth has benefited the poor lots. Muslims, who’re a minority in Mozambique, represent greater than half of the province’s inhabitants. The province’s political domination, nonetheless, has been monopolized by the predominantly Catholic Makonde ethnic group, of which President Nyusi is a member.
The instant spark of armed battle got here in 2017, after the federal government sought to take away a layer of younger Muslims, a few of whom had been educated in Saudi Arabia, who had sought to introduce a stricter type of Islam and defied older Muslim clerics with ties to the FRELIMO Regime.
FRELIMO, thought of on the time to be probably the most radical African nationalist actions, got here to energy in 1975 after a 10-year armed battle towards Portuguese colonialism. Independence got here after the overthrow of the Portuguese dictatorship of Salazar in 1974. It was adopted, nonetheless, by 15 years of bloody civil warfare by which the apartheid regime in South Africa, the minority regime Blanche in Rhodesia and the US Central Intelligence Company supported a counterrevolutionary motion. often called RENAMO (Nationwide Resistance of Mozambique) in a bloody battle that might declare one million lives.
That President Nyusi’s present FRELIMO regime calls on the identical forces that the motion fought towards within the battle for independence to assist it quell an insurgency speaks volumes concerning the natural incapacity of bourgeois nationalist actions to attain aspirations. of the African lots for freedom from international domination, democracy and social justice. As in South Africa, Zimbabwe and elsewhere on the African continent, Mozambique’s former “freedom fighters” and self-proclaimed Marxists have advanced right into a gang of corrupt millionaire politicians and comprador capitalists.
Along with the US particular operations troops which were deployed to Mozambique, Portugal, the nation’s former colonial grasp, has introduced that it’ll ship not less than 60 particular forces “trainers”.
The Mozambican safety forces have additionally relied closely on a non-public army contractor primarily based in South Africa, the Dyck Advisory Group (or DAG), which is made up of South African mercenaries commanded by Lionel Dyck, a former military colonel. Rhodesian. The DAG has been charged by Amnesty Worldwide with crimes towards humanity, together with dropping so-called barrel bombs on cities, firing machine weapons from helicopters at crowds and attacking faculties and hospitals.
Whereas US troops have gone to Mozambique underneath the pretext of combating “terrorism,” the Pentagon underneath President Joe Biden is appearing underneath the identical pointers set by the Nationwide Safety Technique enacted underneath Trump in early 2018, which emphasised that “Competitors from the nice powers – not terrorism – is now the first goal of US nationwide safety.
Africa is a key battleground within the “nice energy competitors” between the USA and China, which is escalating sharply underneath the Biden administration. China has overtaken the USA because the continent’s largest buying and selling companion and lender, whereas additionally partaking in large-scale infrastructure tasks as a part of its Belt and Highway initiative. Washington fears being excluded from a strategically vital market and supply of uncooked supplies and seeks to compensate, as elsewhere, via army intervention, the peoples of Africa by struggling the results.