Terror at the front gate: Insurgency in Mozambique and its implications for the SADC and South Africa

Victor H. Mlambo, Mfundo Mandla Masuku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The paper, employing a qualitative research approach through the review of literature seeks to examine the increasing acts of terrorism in Mozambique's Northern Cabo Delgado region and its implications for the SADC and South Africa. Regionally, the SADC's failure to act has cast doubt on the regional body's ability to protect and support member states in times of need and has painted a bleak picture for the region's security, should the insurgency spread to other countries. For South Africa, this presents a security conundrum, not only are the country's land borders porous, but the country's intelligence services have been marred by political interference, thus questioning the country's ability to promptly respond to possible threats that may emanate from its land borders. The current political discourse in South Africa argues that should terror groups consolidate their presence in Mozambique and look to expand their operations to South Africa, The country's borders at their current state together with a politically compromised intelligence service would serve little purpose in protecting the country considering their state of disarray. The paper recommends that collective action is needed to address the on-going insurgency in Mozambique through a SADC initiated regional framework, which is supported by member states. For South Africa, investment in border operations, policy harmonisation, and the impartiality of intelligence services are key issues that ought to be addressed to ensure that going forward, South Africa can repel any possible terror-related incident.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2700
JournalJournal of Public Affairs
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • borders
  • Mozambique
  • security
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Political Science and International Relations


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