Mozambique travel WARNING: UK issues advice after brutal attacks leave 17 dead

  • A Mozambique travel warning has been issued by the UK advising those from Britain not to travel to the northeastern region of the country

  • UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has consequently warned against travelling to avoid any danger

  • The Foregn Office descirbed the threat of terrorim in Mozambique as “likely” and has issued advice on anyone travelling to the African country

At least 17 people have been killed since May in north eastern Mozambique in a series of attacks by groups with links to Islamic militants – leading the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to advise Britons against travelling to the area.

The focal point of the attacks is the town of Palma near the Tanzanian border, where 10 of the 17 people murdered were beheaded last month, two of whom were children, according to local media.

The USA has already issued a warning to its citizens about the attacks and now the UK is following suit.

“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all but essential travel to the districts of Palma, Mocimboa de Praia and Macomia in Cabo Delgado province due to an increase in attacks by groups with links to Islamic extremism,” announced the FCO in a travel advice warning on their website. 

The threat of terrorism in the southern African country is considered “likely” by the Foreign Office. They state, “Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Mozambique. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.”

The most recent attack was this month when six machete-wielding men murdered at least seven people and injured four others in the predominantly Muslim region.

However, the country has not been a focal point of Islamist militant activity until now, with local police unwilling to blame Islamists for the attacks.

In the whole of Mozambique – which has a population of roughly 30 million – only about 18 per cent are Muslim. 30 per cent are Roman Catholic.

Palma, which is on the Indian Ocean coast of Mozambique, is near one of the biggest untapped offshore gas fields in the world. 

American petroleum company, Anadarko Petroleum, is currently trying to raise $14 billion (£10.47 billion) to $15 billion for a liquefied natural gas project in the region.

However, they have not yet revealed whether they will be suspending work on the project. They are currently monitoring the situation, says Reuters.

Canadian energy company Wentworth Resources has said it requested a one-year extension for its appraisal licence in the region as a result of the unbalanced security situation. 

“This has prevented safe access to the area for Wentworth staff and contractors. The Company continues to monitor the situation closely,” Wentworth Resources  announced in statement posted on its website.

Ongoing Mozambique travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office warns against walking at night and displaying valuables or money. Visitors should avoid withdrawing cash from ATMs at night and utilise the hotel safe.

Carjacking incidents have increased, particularity in the capital of Maputo. “Keep your car doors locked while driving,” advise the FCO. 

“Be particularly vigilant when arriving at or leaving residential properties after dark. Avoid driving alone at night,” they add. The Swaziland border is a prominent place for carjackings so exercise caution when crossing.

The FCO also warns against helping “distressed motorists or pedestrians” as “hijackers sometimes use these techniques to trick motorists into stopping their vehicle. If in doubt, drive directly to a police station.”

If you are a victim of any form of crime then you should contact the local police and get a police report. 

However, there have been previously reported incidents of police harassment, including robbery or request for bribes.

If this happens, UK visitors should report the incident to the British High Commission.

This article originally appeared here via Google News