Reports indicate that thousands of people have fled from Mueda (Cabo Delgado province) in recent days as of Thursday, November 19, due to the threat of an imminent militant assault. Recent violent clashes in Muidumbe, some 41 km (25 miles) southeast of Mueda, along with suggestions that militant reinforcements have been moved closer to Mueda, has prompted people to flee. Militants reportedly warned Muidumbe residents that an attack on Mueda would come before Friday, November 20, although this remains unconfirmed. Three commercial banks are believed to have closed their Mueda branches over fears of an imminent attack, and the price of tickets on public transport has increased as demand has soared as people look to leave the area. Sources have indicated that the imminent threat of attack on Mueda and the recent clashes in Muidumbe prevents government forces based in Mueda from leaving the town to target militant positions in Mocimboa da Praia and Palma districts.
Security operations are likely in the area in response to the reports. Further militant attacks are expected to continue to occur over the near term.
Cabo Delgado province has seen a significant increase in Islamist militant activity in 2020. At least 900 civilians have been killed, and at least 150,000 more have fled Cabo Delgado since the Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama insurgency began in 2017.
Those in Cabo Delgado province are advised to monitor developments, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
Some Western governments advise against all travel to parts of Cabo Delgado province. Travelers in or intending to travel to Cabo Delgado should seek professional security support due to the volatile security environment and potential for further attacks.
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