Mozambique on the crossroads III – Cabinda’s paradigm

The instability in Northern Mozambique shows a similar scenario to Angola’s Cabinda province.

Both regions have vast and enviable energetic assets sought-after by international oil and gas companies.

In Cabo Delgado Mozambique’s province, the rich natural resources are wanted not only by big cartels but also by Islamic terrorism, craving for a  source of revenue for an armed insurgency.

Even prior independence of Angola  Cabinda’s coveted mineral resources were the source of foreign oil companies’ greed and collusion with liberation organizations like FLEC (Cabinda Liberation Front ) aiming at a break away from  Luanda’s authority.

We have alluded in an earlier comment to the Berlin 1890 Conference as a determining factor for the African continent malaise and instability that it has endured ever since.

The instability in Northern Mozambique shows a similar scenario to Angola’s Cabinda province.

Deriving from that European Convention that took place in the German capital one hundred and thirty years ago the negotiations that chopped Africa like pieces of cloth originating a patchwork of territories there were significant changes to Portuguese sovereignty in Africa namely Angola.

The presence of Portuguese colonization of the Congo region had started with the discovery of the river delta by the seafarer Diogo Cao in 1483 and the establishment of a long-lasting commercial and military alliance with the local Kingdoms.

Due to coercive demands for his new colony to have access to the sea from Belgium’s King Leopold, one o the main architects of the African continent partition Portugal was compelled to relinquish the northern territory adjacent to the mouth of the Zaire River.

The Portuguese acquiescence to cede that land made the Cabinda province an enclave in a foreign territory, separated from mainland Angola, a development that would have in the future far-reaching political consequences, primarily because of its rich seaboard oil reserves.


Angola has been able to thwart Cabinda’s autonomy aspirations thanks to geographic proximity.
Mozambique’s province of Cabo Delgado is two thousand miles from Maputo

In the current Northern Mozambique scenario of the people’s dissatisfaction, there is the strong possibility that could lead to the wish for self-determination an idea encouraged not only by foreign economic interests but also by the radical Islamic forces.

Angola defeated Uinta in a long merciless conventional warfare and it is rated one of the top military powers in the African continent.

It has been able to thwart Cabinda’s autonomy aspirations, thanks to a firm military presence, facilitated by geographic proximity.

Conversely, the province of Cabo Delgado is far away, almost two thousand miles of intrasitable roads, from Maputo and the prolonged war against the Renamo insurgency exposed the Mozambican government’s inability to defeat the Central Mozambique guerilla movement.

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