US Special Forces soldiers started training Mozambican troops this week as a part of an effort to beat back an expanding insurgency in northeastern Mozambique that US officials say is linked to the Islamic State group.
The US program is moderate in size and scope. A dozen Army Green Berets are to train Mozambican marines for the next two months. But it hints at the entry of the United States military into a counterinsurgency effort that has been aided so far mainly by South African mercenaries, who have faced accusations of human rights abuses.
The insurgency in Mozambique includes some fighters from Tanzania, but most come from the local area, a place of extreme poverty and endemic corruption. It is also stated that the United States is also looking to step up intelligence assistance for Mozambique.
Last week, the State Department also imposed sanctions on a reported ISIS arm in Congo and its leader, Seka Musa Baluku. Islamic insurgents affiliated with the Islamic State are also active in Libya, Mali, Niger, and other parts of West Africa.