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Since the October 2017 attacks by alleged Islamist insurgents, commonly referred to as Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama and locally know as Al Shabab, on Mocimboa da Praia, it has not been entirely clear who the attackers were, what their strategic objectives are and on whose domestic and international support they rely. This paper, grounded in a historical understanding of conflict in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province, seeks to identify possible stakeholders and scenarios in what we no longer see as an insurgency, but a war.