Despite being reported under the banner of a religious terror insurgency, according to demographic data analysis by Fraym, ethnicity is a major underlying factor in the conflict in Cabo Delgado province. In Cabo Delgado, the dynamics and ethnic politics between the province's major tribes are behind a lot of the insurgent violence, these groups have not managed to sort out their grievances despite centuries of being neighbours. Scholars have found that Mweni people, an alienated minority ethnic group in Cabo Delgado, are predominantly joining Islamic State aligned militias such as Ahlu Sunna wa Jama, despite most not even being Muslim. These groups have been targeting Makua, which are the largest ethnic group, and the Makonde, who live along the border with Tanzania, and a growing number of attacks on foreign workers involved in Cabo Delgado's booming gas industry.
This is all taking place in a country so destabilised that even the security forces are carrying out summary executions in public places and mismanaging counter terrorism operations by mishandling detainees, and arbitrarily detaining people and even journalists. This is just the latest turn in a highly regional conflict that requires government leadership, the government could send a powerful message by fixing its own political instability before hoping to foster greater stability regionally. There are currently billions of dollars of gas extraction plants in Cabo Delgabo, but there are similar projects in Tanzania, and if Mozambique’s projects become too costly security-wise, international actors will lose interest in helping the Mozambican government. A demonstration of reconciliation between government factions that have continually vied for power since the 70s would send a message to the international community also, that it is worth investing in Mozambique's government and security.