The insurgency in the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique has been placed firmly in the international spotlight as it also poses a maritime threat.
More specifically, Mozambique’s future economy relies heavily on maintaining a safe offshore domain. For this reason, the government is called to use every opportunity to build the required capacity and partnerships to maintain the rule of law at sea.
However, bringing gas production on line has been severely disrupted because of the insurgency. In fact, much of the landward activity and construction of infrastructure has come to a standstill.
Currently, the port is of significance for the delivery of goods by sea and air for the construction projects under way to develop onshore infrastructure in support of the gas industry. Nevertheless, it has been reclaimed by the Mozambique and Rwandan forces and remains stalled.
As a result, insecurity on land has maritime repercussions. This is the reality in the waters off Somalia, Nigeria, Libya and Yemen, as weak security governance affects the maritime economy.
Furthermore, perceptions of dangers in the waters off Mozambique hold negative repercussions. This is even more so if international measures are implemented to mitigate a threat to shipping.
Additionally, higher insurance costs are also incurred, as shipping must follow longer routes, thus increasing the cost of doing business. Moreover, private security personnel are often taken on, while the safety and livelihoods of crews are at higher risk.
Finally, the waters off Cabo Delgado must not be allowed to become a playground for criminals to enter and exploit. If ungoverned, this sea space offers the potential for criminal syndicates and insurgents to prosper.