Islamic State-affiliate Ansar al-Sunna (ASWJ) is fueling insecurity in northern Mozambique with regional implications. Throughout 2020, ASWJ has grown its maritime operational capabilities to wage violence on land, prompting the attention of the maritime community. This brief responds to the various requests received by Stable Seas from maritime stakeholders seeking a high-level overview of ASWJ to better understand the role they can play in supporting Maputo to counter ASWJ at sea.
This brief provides a high-level overview of the conflict background and government response, ASWJ’s 2020 escalation (e.g., tactics, geography, Islamic State affiliation, and consolidation of transportation corridors), humanitarian concerns, and the maritime dimensions and external implications of the conflict. Overall, while the situation remains fluid, maritime security presents a unique opportunity to counter ASWJ and must be incorporated into ongoing and future counterinsurgency efforts.