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An apparent Islamist insurgency has terrorised the north of Mozambique and sent locals and foreign oil companies running. But being thousands of kilometres from SA, the violence won’t likely reach here. Moreover, amid a toxic combination of inept security services, corrupt governance, crime, and tribal and religious tensions, the situation in our northern neighbour looks like a quagmire best avoided.

Except that we’ll all pay a price. Mozambique has discovered gas and investors would soon have been producing huge volumes from the reserves of this natural resource, whose scale dwarfs anything the region has seen before — about 150-170 times larger than what it took for then Mossgas (now PetroSA) to produce for decades. ..

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