Mozambique: The port of Mocimboa da Praia welcomes its first ship since the jihadist occupation
For the first time in two years, the port of Mocimboa da Praia in the gas-rich province of Cabo Delgado welcomed a commercial ship, a sign of a gradual return to normalcy for the province, which has been plagued by a jihadist insurgency for five years.
Two years ago, the port of Mocimboa da Praia was in the hands of the jihadists, who were cutting off one of the region’s main trade routes. It took the joint intervention of forces from SADEC, the Southern African Community, and Rwandan soldiers starting in August 2021 to drive them out.
A first commercial ship was thus able to dock in this Mozambican port, which serves a multi-billion dollar gas project under development. According to the Mozambican radio, the governor of the Cabo Delgado region as well as the country manager of the French group TotalEnergies, the main investor in the project, made the trip for the arrival of the ship.
It was a ship belonging to Mozambique LNG containing a cargo of fuel, cars, tractors, and various equipment for companies operating in the city of Palma, located 80 km to the north.
Yet, although gas projects on the Afungi Peninsula can now resume, the Cabo Delgado region is far from secure. “In my opinion, this intervention was aimed at guaranteeing a security perimeter to allow the development of gas projects in the region. This objective has been achieved. The security situation on the ground has improved significantly, but it cannot be said that it has normalized,” said Salvador Forquilha, a researcher at the Institute of Social and Economic Studies in Maputo.