Regionalism and the fight against terrorism in southern Africa: reflections on Cabo Delgado in Mozambique




Regionalism, SADC, Mozambique, Terrorism, Cabo Delgado, Insurgency


Post-independence Africa has often depicted Southern Africa as a formidable region spared by the calamities of Islamic insurgencies and terrorism. However, unfolding events in the last five years have demonstrated the limitation of SADC to terrorism exceptionalism. A combination of relatively weak states perpetuating poor regionalism, ethnic and religious diversity, poverty and the existence of the ‘ungoverned space’ are possible explanations in making the region a suitable habitat for insurgency groups. The recent invasion by terrorists of Cabo Delgado province in Mozambique has been a critical cause for concern for the stability of the region. The military intervention of the Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) and Rwanda presents an opportunity for academics to explore regional prospects for peace and security. This paper uses insights gained from a qualitative study on terrorism, counterterrorism and regionalism to investigate the concept of regional security cooperation in the SADC region and the authenticity of institutional responses in Northern Mozambique. The study concludes that the launch of the SAMIM, despite several obstacles, represents a step in the right direction. More so, creating durable security institutions is the starting point towards realising meaningful regional security cooperation, which guarantees feasible regional economic integration. 


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How to Cite

Rusero, A. M. and Maisiri, K. A. (2023) “Regionalism and the fight against terrorism in southern Africa: reflections on Cabo Delgado in Mozambique ”, African Journal on Conflict Resolution, 23(2), pp. 1–21. doi: 10.17159/ajcr.v23i2.17638.