Mozambique’s gas wealth – Insurgents shut down huge energy project | DW Documentary

Mozambique could be one of the world’s largest energy suppliers. Huge natural gas reserves are located off the country’s northern coast. But they are not being exploited – because of a brutal insurgency involving Islamist militants.

When giant natural gas fields were discovered off Mozambique’s coast, Western investors came in droves. French company TotalEnergies was among those to secure a lucrative license. In 2019, it pledged to invest 20 billion US dollars by 2024. The first gas deliveries were to begin in 2024.

But the French energy giant later suspended work on the project and withdrew all its workers. Because since 2021, jihadist militants have wielded control over large parts of the northern province of Cabo Delgado. They call themselves Ahlu Sunna Wal Jammah after the main Sunni branch of Islam. More than a million people have fled their homes.

Last year, Mozambique reached an agreement with faraway Rwanda to have its forces provide security for the gas installations and the surrounding villages. A force of 2000 Rwandan soldiers have succeeded in bringing calm to the area. Outside of the provincial capital of Pemba, it’s the only place in Cabo Delgado that’s safe. But whether TotalEnergies will resume the project, and when, remains unclear.

#documentary #dwdocumentary #mozambique

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