Foreigners will be targeted in northern Mozambique

Military personnel at one of the checkpoints set up in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, following a series of

Military personnel at one of the checkpoints set up in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, following a series of attacks on isolated settlements across the region, June 16, 2018. The ten murders that took place in Nangamede and Monjane on May 27, some including beheadings, were attributed to an alleged Islamic group. Through different cells, this group is suspected of having perpetrated several other attacks on remote Cabo Delgado villages since October 2017, following the two-day siege of Mocímboa da Praia which resulted in the occupation of police stations and the murder of two officers. (READ ARTICLE DATED JUNE 22, 2018). ANTÓNIO SILVA/LUSA

  |  António Silva/Lusa

Consultancy firm Control Risks says that armed attacks will target foreigners but will not prevent multinational companies from investing in natural gas

"Control Risks believes it is increasingly likely that the Al-Sunnah group will target foreigners traveling Cabo Delgado's rural roads," reads the report that marks the first anniversary of the attacks in the region.

According to the consultancy firm, the latest attacks show that "the group is trying to avoid casualties, and the concentration of security forces in this area is likely to deter more complex attacks."

For now, according to Control Risks, "although the threat continues to grow, staffing and security issues in commercial spaces will begin to require equal attention," because "multinational corporations agree that al-Sunnah cannot play down the excitement about Mozambique's natural gas potential."

According to official figures, about 100 people have died since the first attacks one year ago - including innocent citizens, alleged attackers, and members of the security forces.

Violence in Cabo Delgado gained visibility after an armed attack on police stations in Mocímboa da Praia in October 2017, when two police officers were killed by a group formed in a local mosque that preached sedition against the state and whose behavior had been causing conflicts with local residents for at least two years.

After Mocímboa da Praia, the attacks have always occurred far from asphalt roads and the facilities of the companies that are going to exploit natural gas on the Afungi Peninsula, Palma district.