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Mozambican government is promising to strengthen security after the first Cabo Delgado attacks on targets linked to US oil company Anadarko..Analyst Egidio Vaz fears “economic sabotage”.
A convoy transporting Anadarko workers involved in the gas project in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, was attacked last Thursday on the road from Mocimboa da Praia to Afungi, injuring six.
A second attack on the same day struck a vehicle belonging to Portuguese company Gabriel Couto, contracted for the construction of an aerodrome of Anadarko, and resulted in one death.
These were the first armed attacks on the Anadarko-led consortium since unidentified brigands began raids on Cabo Delgado in October 2017.
On Saturday (23-02), six people were killed and several others were injured in a new attack in Macomia district, Lusa news agency reported. The victims were travelling in a passenger bus which was intercepted by an armed group more than 100 kilometres from where Anadarko suffered the two attacks.
In response, Interior Minister Basilio Monteiro vowed to strengthen Defence and Security Forces in the region, deploying them at the camps of companies involved in gas exploration.
“We will consolidate the security environment, not only in the camps but also in the workplaces of these and other related companies,” he said.
Analyst Egidio Vaz says that, with the targeting of Anadarko, the attacks in Cabo Delgado have begun to show “a feature of economic sabotage or, at least, sabotage of positive economic prospects”.
Following the attack on Thursday, the company announced the suspension of construction work on the aerodrome and restricted the movement of workers in the area. According to Vaz, this compromises the project’s completion deadline, and will ultimately postpone Mozambique’s “taking advantage of large investments”.
Vaz believes that these attacks may also mean that security authorities are increasingly tightening the siege, and not necessarily that acts of sabotage are gaining ground. But even so, the record of these attacks is worrying, he concludes.
“Although, so far, terrorist activities have not been enough for companies to disinvest, I think this sense of insecurity has an impact on the speed with which decisions [related to the implementation of the gas exploration project] are made,” he says.Source: Deutsche Welle