AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - Gas exports begin, but will this resource be used to lift the country out of poverty?

Friday, 18 November 2022 jihadists   bishops   justice   development  

Maputo (Agenzia Fides) - Mozambique welcomes its first export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) with the departure on November 13 of a first supply of gas from the Coral Sul offshore plant, while "social and economic inequalities are creating a deep gap", say the Mozambican Bishops. "On the one hand, a wealthy minority that can afford all kinds of luxuries and, on the other, an impoverished majority that does not even have the basics to survive", say the Bishops, who hope for "courageous policies that eliminate the growing gap among brothers and sisters".
The gas extracted in the fields along the northern Mozambican coast is the great hope of redemption for the country, one of the poorest in the world, but it collides with the instability in that area due to the presence of an insurrection which has given itself a jihadist character, giving itself the nickname of Province of the Islamic State in Mozambique.
In their pastoral note published on November 11, the Bishops recalling that the "terrorist war" in Cabo Delgado, in the northern province of Mozambique, which began more than five years ago and which is reaching "ever-wider areas, included the provinces of Niassa and Nampula". "Destruction and violent deaths of children, innocent women and men and people of good will are sown, such as Sister Maria de Coppi, murdered on September 6, in the attack on the Catholic Mission of Chipene, diocese of Nacala" (see Fides, 7/9/2022) recall the Bishops.
The extreme poverty in which the local populations live and especially the young, generates a powerful push for the recruitment in the jihadist ranks, underlines the Mozambican episcopate. "Young Mozambicans continue to swell the ranks of those who sow terror" and it is precisely the youth, "the present and future of the nation, who succumb to these incessant waves of violence". "Young people allow themselves to be seduced" by the call of the jihadists due to "the absence of hope for a better future". "No peace survives exclusions and social injustices", warn the Bishops according to which corruption "is another of the great evils" of the country in which "greed sometimes leads to favoring "large economic projects by foreign capital to exploit natural resources without a real and transparent involvement of the populations". Nearly $100 billion in revenues are projected over the next 25 years from gas exploitation. But will this give the nation the desired economic empowerment? (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 18/11/2022)