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European Parliament Delegation Visits Mozambique to Assess EU Training Mission

European Parliament Delegation Visits Mozambique to Assess EU Training Mission

A delegation from the European Parliament’s Security and Defence sub-committee is due to visit Mozambique from 18 to 21 September to assess the work of the European Union’s training mission.

According to a statement issued on Friday, 16 September by the parliamentary sub-committee, the aim of the visit is to “assess the work of the EU Training Mission in Mozambique (EUTM) and to reinforce the importance of EU-Mozambique cooperation in security and defence matters.

The delegation is led by the sub-committee’s chairwoman, Nathalie Loiseau, and includes six MEPs, including Portuguese Socialist MEP Isabel Santos.

The European Parliament recalls that, under the European Peace Facility, “the EU agreed last week to support the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission to Mozambique (SAMIM) with EUR 15 million, providing the military component of SAMIM with field fortifications and storage containers, medical equipment, vehicles and boats, as well as technological devices”.

“By providing this support, the EU joins the Mozambican and international efforts to restore peace, security and safety in Northern Mozambique, protect the civilian population and enable the return of internally displaced persons, responsible law enforcement, state structures and services to the area,” the note adds.

This visit comes shortly after the visit to Mozambique by the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, who on 9 September delivered in Maputo the first tranche of non-lethal military equipment for Mozambican troops trained by the EU to fight in Cabo Delgado.

“This is the first delivery, more will follow soon,” as part of an 89 million euro (85 plus an initial tranche of four) package for equipment, he said at the time.

All-terrain cargo vehicles and individual equipment such as uniforms, helmets, glasses or canteens, were part of the delivery on Friday at the Katembe military base on the southern bank of Maputo, one of the sites of the EU military training mission.

The next consignments of support to Mozambique will also include material for river and sea fighting, he added, stressing that European support obeyed an integrated vision, which included economic and social development to restore peace in Cabo Delgado.

From a military point of view, “Mozambique is the first country to receive combat training and material support” simultaneously, under the umbrella of “a new instrument” – the European Peace Facility – with the aim of making the armed forces self-sustaining, meaning they no longer need external support, he noted.

For the EU, after Mali, Central African Republic and Somalia, this is the fourth mission of its kind.

The two-year mission supports the training of 1100 soldiers from 11 rapid reaction units of the Mozambique Armed Defence Forces (commandos prepared in Chimoio and marines in Katembe, as well as aerotactic controllers) and is carried out by 119 members from 12 EU countries.

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Portugal is in charge of the mission and is the country with the largest contingent, currently 68 soldiers from the three branches of the Armed Forces and GNR.

The common costs for EUTM Mozambique, covered by the European Peace Facility, are estimated at 15 million euros for the two-year period.

Cabo Delgado province is rich in natural gas but has been terrorised since 2017 by armed violence, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.

The insurgency has led to a military response since a year ago by forces from Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), liberating districts near gas projects but leading to a new wave of attacks in other areas, closer to Pemba, the provincial capital, and in the neighbouring province of Nampula.

There are 800,000 internally displaced people due to the conflict, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and some 4,000 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project.

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