Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi is visiting the northern province of Cabo Delgado where the army is fightingIslamist insurgents.
The military insists it is now in control of the key portof Mocimboa da Praia, which was reportedly taken by the militantsearlier this week.
The army is said to have retreated after running out ofammunition.
Mr Nyusi is visiting the provincial capital, Pemba, which is hundredsof kilometres from the heart of the insurgency.
He says the “terrorists”, who arelinked to the Islamic State group, pose no threat to international efforts toexploit the region’s gas reserves.
Yet the rebellion is evolving fast, and Mozambique’s security forces appear to be, almost constantly, on the back foot.
With roads, electricity, and phone-lines cut, informationabout what is going on in Mocimboa da Praia is hard to come by.
There is growing evidence to suggest that the rebels arenow well-armed and increasingly ambitious.
The militants – known locally as al-Shabab, or the youth – havean Islamist agenda, but they’re building on decades of local frustrations aboutunemployment, rigged elections, corruption and violence.