Ansar al-Sunna (Mozambique)

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Ansar al-Sunna
Participant in the Islamist insurgency in Mozambique
Flag of Jihad.svg
Active2015[1] – present
LeadersVarious cell leaders
Area of operationsCabo Delgado Province, Mozambique
Opponent(s) Mozambique
Battles and war(s)Islamist insurgency in Mozambique

Ansar al-Sunna (transl. Supporters of the tradition), also known as Ansar al-Sharia,[2] al-Shabaab, Ahlu al-Sunna, and Swahili Sunna,[3] is an Islamist militant group active in Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique. The group has attacked security forces and civilians in an attempt to establish an Islamic state in the area.[4]

The group was reportedly formed in Cabo Delgado by followers of the radical Kenyan cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed who resettled in Mozambique following his death in 2012. The group became increasingly violent in 2017, carrying out attacks on government and civilian targets.[1] Funding for the group is raised from illegal smuggling, religious networks, and people-traffickers, which the group uses to send recruits to Tanzania, Kenya and Somalia for military and ideological training.[5]

Members of Ansar al-Sunna are reportedly mostly Mozambicans from the Mocimboa da Praia, Palma and Macomia districts, but also include foreign nationals from Tanzania and Somalia. Portuguese, Kimwane and Swahili are all reportedly spoken by the group's members.[6] The group actively recruits young Mozambicans who are resentful of the government due to high unemployment and lack of economic opportunities.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Ansar al-Sunna: A New Militant Islamist Group Emerges in Mozambique". Jamestown Foundation. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Alleged Islamist base shelled near Mocimboa da Praia - By Joseph Hanlon". Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b Sirwan Kajjo; Salem Solomon (7 June 2019). "Is IS Gaining Foothold in Mozambique?". Voice of America. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Mozambique: Islamist Raids Continuing in Mocimboa Da Praia". 5 December 2017. Archived from the original on 26 December 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  5. ^ "How Mozambique's smuggling barons nurtured jihadists". BBC News. 2 June 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  6. ^ "População captura supostos membros do grupo armado que atacou Mocímboa da Praia". Archived from the original on 26 December 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2017.