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News: Insecurity in Mozambique

07 April 2021

Since 2017 there has been a growing insurgency threat in the northern Cabo Delgado region of Mozambique. In the latest insecurity activity on 24 March this year, dozens of people, including foreign workers, were killed in an attack in the town of Palma. Thousands of locals and foreigners were displaced from Palma, some fleeing to the town of Pemba for safety. It is reported the attack may have been carried out by groups with extremist ideologies.

The violent scenes forced the suspension of a nearby US$ 20bn gas development project with the extraction of foreign workers. The United Nations also suspended civilian evacuation flights over security concerns. Meanwhile, neighbouring South Africa mobilised troops to repatriate South African citizens from the Cabo Delgado region.

As at early April, the situation has stabilised somewhat but much uncertainty remains in a volatile region. Local correspondents are suggesting that ship owners avoid calling at Palma port for the time being. However, other Mozambique ports including Nacala, Beira and Maputo are reported as safe and vessels are calling these ports to load and discharge various cargoes. Some operators have sought to discharge cargo on the island of Mayotte in the Mozambique channel but storage options are limited and further on-carriage remains uncertain.

Transiting the Mozambique channel is still considered safe and so far there have been no reports of vessel being attacked. However, it has been noted by local correspondents that some vessels have elected to pass closer to the Comoros and Madagascar when transiting the channel in order to avoid the northern coastline of Mozambique.

Members are urged to exercise utmost caution if trading near northern Mozambique.

The club would like to thank P&I Associates in the preparation of this news item.​