An alleged Islamic State jihadist said that the aim of this week’s two attacks by armed insurgents on towns near a planned liquefaction complex in northern Mozambique is to impose Sharia law in the region.
Portuguese news agency Lusa said the message — delivered on video — is the first ever to be issued by perpetrators of multiple attacks that have taken place in Cabo Delgado province since October 2017.
In the video, a man in military uniform with his face covered appeals, in Portuguese, to fighters under the flag of the extremist Islamic State group.
“We are calling on [those who see the message] to come here and fight under this flag … we do not want the Frelimo flag,” he said, in a direct appeal for support for the application of Islamic law in the remote province and its surrounds.
Frelimo, headed by President Felipe Nyusi, has been Mozambique’s ruling party since independence.
Lusa quoted the man as saying “we are not fighting over (the) wealth of the world".
This could suggest that the LNG facilities are not a target for the insurgents.
The recording was identified by Lusa as being made in broad daylight on the wall of the residence of the administrator of Quissanga, a village in the province of Cabo Delgado invaded on Wednesday and from which the entire population fled.
Two analysts linked to security companies who follow the armed violence in Cabo Delgado told Lusa to accept the recording as legitimate, in line with the photographs released on Wednesday by the armed group near the village buildings.
The Quissanga attack happened two days after armed men occupied Mocimboa da Praia, about 120 kilometres to the north.
Lusa said there is currently no further information either on victims or damage in Mocimboa da Praia, although residents reported finding bodies in the street and several burned buildings.
Mozambican authorities confirmed the attack on Mocomboa da Praia but have still not commented on the Quissanga attack.
Bartolomeu Muibo, the administrator of Quissanga, told Lusa on Thursday that he did not know if the town is still occupied or if some residents have returned.