Northern Security: Analyst not clear Cabo Delgado attack targeted oil company

An analyst at British consultancy Risk Advisory has told Lusa that it is not clear that the attacks in northern Mozambique which killed one person on Thursday were aimed at the oil company Andarko.

“There is not enough evidence to say whether the attackers targeted Anadarko,” the oil company that runs the natural gas exploitation consortium in the area, “or if they [just] wanted to ambush any vehicle that was moving on that road,” Tristan Gueret, an analyst at Risk Advisory in London, told Lusa on Friday.

US-based oil company Anadarko said in a statement on Thursday that there were two related attacks in Cabo Delgado, resulting in one death and six injuries.

“It is our understanding that two related attacks occurred on the road from Mocímboa da Praia to Afungi at 5:00 p.m. on February 21,” Gueret said

“The first involved a convoy and caused non-lethal injuries to six workers from contracted companies who received or are still receiving treatment. Tragically, the second attack, involving a contractor for the construction of an aerodrome for the project, resulted in one death,” the statement says.

The company in question is the Portuguese company Gabriel Couto, which sent Lusa clarifications on Saturday.

Although the company is Portuguese, this was not the nationality of the worker who died, a diplomatic source told Lusa.

Responding to questions posed by Lusa, Gueret noted that there had been at least six other attacks “in which militants in Cabo Delgado ambushed vehicles” in the last year and a half.

“They attacked civilian and commercial vehicles, but also police and military convoyed, also on the road between Mocimboa da Praia and the Afungi peninsula,” – the same route on which the Thursday attacks occurred.

The analyst points out that it is also “one of the areas where the group [responsible for the attacks] is most active.”

Since October 2017, when attacks started, there has been no formal claim of responsibility, and little is known about the identity or motivations of those responsible.

Source: Lusa

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