The illicit trade with China fuelling Mozambique’s insurgency


In Mozambique, there’s a big problem with illegal logging, especially of a type of wood called rosewood. This wood is valuable and often sent to China for furniture. But here’s the issue: Mozambique has rules to protect its forests, and cutting down rosewood is against these rules. However, many people are still doing it, and it’s causing serious problems.

First off, this illegal logging is helping to fund a violent group in Mozambique called the Islamic State. This group has been causing a lot of trouble in the northern part of the country. They’re involved in illegal activities like smuggling rosewood to make money for their violent activities. This is according to information from an organization called the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), which works to stop environmental crimes.

The EIA found out that even though rosewood logging is supposed to be controlled, it’s happening illegally because of corruption and poor management. This is a big problem because it’s causing a lot of damage to the forests, and it’s making the violent group even stronger. The EIA also discovered that some companies are paying the violent group to let them cut down trees illegally.

The situation is getting worse because more and more trees are being cut down. The wood is usually taken to sawmills to be processed and then sent to ports to be shipped to China. Even though China has rules against importing illegal wood, a lot of rosewood from Mozambique still gets through.

The EIA found out about a huge shipment of rosewood from Mozambique to China. It was worth millions of dollars. But here’s the thing: it’s against Mozambique’s law to export unprocessed timber, and this shipment had both processed and unprocessed wood. This shows that even though there are laws in place, they’re not being followed properly.

One of the reasons this illegal logging is happening is because people in Mozambique are very poor, and they see cutting down trees as a way to make money. The violent group in the north is also taking advantage of this situation to make more money for themselves.

There are other valuable resources in the northern part of Mozambique, like oil and natural gas, which attract big companies. But this also means that there’s more competition for land and resources, which can lead to conflicts. This, combined with the violence from the militant group, has forced many people to leave their homes.

So, in summary, illegal logging in Mozambique is causing a lot of problems. It’s damaging the forests, funding a violent group, and displacing many people. Even though there are laws to protect the forests, they’re not being enforced properly. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed to protect both the environment and the people of Mozambique.


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