A helicopter apparently being used by private military contractors from South Africa who have been assisting the Mozambican army against Islamist insurgents in the north of the country had to make an emergency landing after the chopper was damaged, possibly by enemy fire, according to reports from the region.

Numerous attacks by the rebels have been reported in the past week in the northern Cabo Delgado province. Most recently insurgent vessels disguised as fishing boats attempted to land near the popular tourist destination of Ibo Island in the Querimbas Archipelago, according to a tweet by Jasmine Opperman, an analyst for ACLED, a data gatherer of information from world conflict points.

The ongoing Islamist insurgency in the Cabo Delgado province is said to have links to the Middle East’s ISIS.


Reports in both Vrye Weekblad and Daily Maverick today report on the conflict. “There are now strong indications that private South African military operators are helping the Mozambican government in their battle against insurgents in the north,” according to VW.

“Multiple reports that one of the South African PMC (private military company) Gazelle helicopters deployed against jihadists in northern Mozambique was shot down this morning. Small arms fire. Unconfirmed reports say crew safely extracted,” tweeted Julian Rademeyer, a director at Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.