The United States House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan resolution condemning violence in Mozambique, and calling for peace and stability in the country. The resolution passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee in October 2021.
Named after Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53), the resolution calls for a new approach to address the conflict in a comprehensive manner. It states that the United States and other donor governments should coordinate their assistance efforts.
The Jacobs resolution also stresses the importance of humanitarian organizations having access to the country, for U.S. and international aid to be distributed equitably by the Mozambican government, and calls on the Mozambican government to work to address local grievances in and around Cabo Delgado. (Full H. Res. 720 text available here.)
It was introduced with Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA-37), Chair of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights, and Congresswoman Young Kim (R-CA-39) as the co-leads. The resolution is co-sponsored by thirteen members, including Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY-5), Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), and Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA-33), Colin Allred (D-TX-32), David Cicilline (D-RI-01), Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05), Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI-14), Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20), Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), Ami Bera (D-CA-07), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07).
READ FULL – Remarks by Congresswoman Jacobs on the House floor on her resolution during floor debate Tuesday, July 19, 2022.
Thank you Mr. Speaker, and thank you to my friend Representative Manning for yielding time, to Chairman Meeks for advancing this legislation in committee, and Chairwoman Bass and my friend Congresswoman Kim for partnering with me on this important effort.
I rise today in support of my resolution on Mozambique, which calls for stability and the cessation of violence in northern Mozambique, and condemns the attacks and violence by ISIS-Mozambique. It calls for a new strategy and a new approach for how the US engages with Mozambique to address conflict and violent extremism.
And part of why passing this resolution today is so important, is because we need to raise awareness in this body and in this country about the dire humanitarian situation in Mozambique.
Since 2017, ISIS Mozambique, also known as Ahlu al Sunnah wal Jamaah, has inflicted violence on communities in northern Mozambique. These insurgents have brutalized people and targeted civilians – through mass beheadings of men and boys, abductions of children, and attacks against key civilian infrastructure.
This violence, combined with the government response to it, has killed over 1,700 civilians in Cabo Delgado Province alone.
The international community, particularly the South African Development Community forces and Rwanda’s forces, have responded with troop deployments to secure areas and shield civilians from continued violence.
But let’s be clear, we know that a military-led response will not be enough.
That’s why I was so supportive of the Biden Administration’s recent designation of Mozambique as a priority country under the Global Fragility Act – so that we can better align resources among the interagency and work to address the key drivers of this violence and other forms of instability in the country.
And as we craft our strategy for Mozambique, we must be clear eyed about the underlying grievance and what it will really take to make a difference in preventing new violence from occurring.
We know terrorism and violent extremism are often fueled by perceptions of state repression, human rights abuses, and socioeconomic and political marginalization. We know these factors exist in Mozambique and in the state response to ISIS-Mozambique. We need to be honest about the challenges impacting the Mozambican people in order to get serious about preventing further terrorist recruitment.
We also need to ensure we’re helping the Mozambican government support development goals of Cabo Delgado and northern Mozambique that will allow all sectors of society to thrive.
That’s why I am looking forward to the United States’ partnership with the Mozambique government and the Mozambican people, and to ensuring our strategy is shaped by lessons learned from our counterterrorism missions across the world that have consistently fallen short.
This resolution has strong support from across the ideological spectrum,
I am proud to lead the passage of this important resolution, and I urge my colleagues to support it
Thank you. I yield back the balance of my time.