Since 2017, the insurgency raging in northern Mozambique has cost close to 3,000 lives and displaced more than 700,000 people. On March 23, 2021, militants linked to the Islamic State (IS) group attacked the town of Palma, prompting French energy group Total to shut down its operations in the region, despite having invested more than $20 billion dollars in a liquefied natural gas project there. As this mega-project is put on hold, and the company’s staff withdrawn – at least until stability is reestablished – the Mozambican government is largely refusing outside military assistance.
The story of Leah Sharibu's capture and her continued detention by the Boko Haram insurgents as a result of her defiance of compromise and refusal to renounce her faith is the stuff of legend. Leah, then 14, was abducted with 109 other girls of the Dapchi Technical College. Of the 110 girls abducted, five died in captivity while 104 were released on March 20, 2018. Leah Sharibu alone was not released because she refused to renounce her faith and convert to Islam as demanded by her captors.