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EU to Extend Military Training Mission to 2026

EU to Extend Military Training Mission to 2026

The Council of the European Union (EU) on Tuesday announced the extension of the military training mission in Mozambique until 30 June 2026, with a budget of €14 million for the next two years.

In a statement, Brussels announced that it will also “adapt the strategic objectives of the mission” because of the change in circumstances, “thus moving from a training model to one of assistance”, with advice and “specialised training” for the rapid reaction forces (QRF) and the Mozambique armed forces (FADM).

Following this strategic change, the EU will rename the mission the EU Military Assistance Mission in Mozambique (EUMAM Mozambique), with effect from 1 September 2024.

 The European Union Training Mission in Mozambique (EUTM-MOZ), led by Portugal, has trained more than 1,650 Mozambican special forces soldiers who are already fighting terrorism in Cabo Delgado.

a d v e r t i s e m e n t

“So far we have trained just over 1,650 specialised special forces soldiers, both marines and commandos […]. We’ve also trained over a hundred trainers,” said Brigadier General João Gonçalves, of the Portuguese Air Force, who leads EUTM-MOZ, on the sidelines of the ceremony in Maputo ahead of last Thursday’s Day of Europe.

“We are empowering the FADM with trainers so that they can be autonomous and continue to maintain this cycle of training and the life cycle of the QRF [11 Rapid Reaction Forces] themselves, because they have to be regenerated,” he added, emphasising that the training given is “considered adequate” by the FADM themselves “for the type of insurgency” in Cabo Delgado, in the north of the country.

The Mozambican commandos and marines trained by EUTM-MOZ are already on the ground, at a time when the withdrawal of military forces from southern African countries that supported Mozambique in the fight against terrorism is underway.

“We are convinced that the training and the number of soldiers we are training is decisive in the approach to the conflict in Cabo Delgado,” he stressed, while also recognising the “very positive” feedback from these soldiers’ actions on the ground.

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The EUTM-MOZ training mission includes 119 soldiers from 13 member states, more than half from Portugal, but has the particularity of including two other countries, outside the European Union, which contribute one soldier each, in the cases of Serbia and Cabo Verde.

Through the European Peace Facility, the European Union has also supported the Mozambican Armed Forces with €89 million to purchase non-lethal equipment for the units trained by EUTM-MOZ.

Lusa

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