Mobilization and demobilization: Youth Engagement in Violent Extremism in Northern Mozambique

Project Description

Mozambique has been plagued by violent extremism in the northern region since 2017. The group in charge, affiliated with the Islamic State since 2019, has survived through multiple mobilization tactics highly reliant on young people to carry on the attacks. Such tactics include financial enticement, deception and Islamic indoctrination. This project critically examines the dynamics of mobilization and demobilization in a challenging context characterized by public condemnation of violence, on the one hand, and private acceptance, on the other. Moreover, there has been a trend in which people desert the group. Few research has been conducted to assess these dynamics in the context of Violent Extremism in Northern Mozambique. This project intends to do so based on a social movements approach while paying very detailed attention to the preventing and countering strategies involving the Mozambican state and other stakeholders.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Elisio Macamo


Rufino Sitoe, hailing from Mozambique, is a professional with expertise in peace and conflict. He holds a Master's degree in Management and Public Policies from the University of Santiago de Chile and a degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the now-extinct Instituto Superior de Relações Internacionais (ISRI) in Mozambique.

Rufino has served as a consultant for prominent United Nations Agencies, including UNFPA and UNESCO. He has also made significant contributions as a Research, Assessment, and Learning Lead for TAG International in Peacebuilding in Northern Mozambique.

As a member of the academic community, Rufino is affiliated with Joaquim Chissano University, where he worked as a Lecturer and Researcher in the School of International Relations and School of Governance. Rufino's expertise is sought after as a political analyst by both Mozambican and international media organizations.

List of Publications

Sitoe, Rufino (2023) Terrorism: Inoperability or need for conceptual adaptation in the Mozambican case? African Journal on Terrorism. Vol 13. 1

Sitoe, Rufino (2022) Extremism, Radicalism and Radicalization: A Necessary Distinction in the Terrorism Debate. Ágora. Vol. 24. 2

Sitoe, Rufino (2021) Diplomacy of National Liberation Movements in Mozambique. Mozambican Journal of International Studies. Vol. 1. No 2.

Sitoe, Rufino (2020) Terrorism in Africa: The Threat in Mozambique.  TPC Editora: Maputo - Book

Sitoe, Rufino (2020) Human Mobility and Climate Resilience in the Context of Climate Change and Violent Extremism in Mozambique – Discussion Paper and Policy Brief. Livaningo.

Sitoe, Rufino (2019) Terrorism in Mozambique? Which Policy Solutions? A glimpse at the Mocimboa da Praia Attacks. Mozambican Journal of International Studies. Vol. 1. No 1.

Portrait Rufino Sitoe

Rufino Sitoe
PhD in African Studies
Centre for African Studies Basel
Rheinsprung 21
4051 Basel