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European Union Finalises Training of Two First Military Companies in Mozambique

European Union Finalises Training of Two First Military Companies in Mozambique

The first two Mozambican special operations companies trained by the European Union (EU) mission will end their training on Monday, Brigadier-General Nuno Lemos Pires of the Portuguese Army, the field commander, announced on Sunday, 20 March.

Each company, one from the Navy, trained in Katembe (near Maputo), and another from the Army, trained in Chimoio (centre of the country), has 130 elements ready to go into the field, namely to confront terrorism in Cabo Delgado, in the north of the country.

At the same time, the training of the first group of six aerotactic controllers, who may be integrated into either the Navy or the Army contingents to operationalise air support to missions, also comes to an end.

The explanations were given to journalists on the sidelines of the visit by the Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to the training base in Chimoio.

The European Union Training Mission (EUTM) officially began in November 2021, is scheduled to last two years, and is expected to receive 140 military trainers.

The mission responds to the Mozambican government’s request for help in preparing 1,100 Mozambican officers, sergeants and soldiers – six army special operations companies and five navy special operations companies – to fight in particular in Cabo Delgado.

Of these 11 companies, two have already been mobilised for that province, having been trained even before the launch of EUTM, with training taking place in 2021 as part of bilateral defence cooperation between Portugal and Mozambique.

This cooperation has now been “strengthened” by this EU mission, Lemos Pires said.

The EUTM operates in cycles of four months for each company, and in which 10 Member States are already committed – the largest contingent being Portugal (as well as the mission commander on the ground).

The explanations were given to journalists on the sidelines of the visit by the Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to the training base in Chimoio.

The European Union Training Mission (EUTM) officially began in November 2021, is scheduled to last two years, and is expected to receive 140 military trainers.

The mission responds to the Mozambican government’s request for help in preparing 1,100 Mozambican officers, sergeants and soldiers – six army special operations companies and five navy special operations companies – to fight in particular in Cabo Delgado.

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Of these 11 companies, two have already been mobilised for that province, having been trained even before the launch of EUTM, with training taking place in 2021 as part of bilateral defence cooperation between Portugal and Mozambique.

The training consists of “operational and military training, but has also focused a lot on training in the area of human rights and international law in conflicts,” he emphasised.

The Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, stressed on Sunday at the Chimoio training base the importance of training, considering that victory over terrorism in the northern province of Cabo Delgado will only be full when life is made without limitations.

“Total victory means allowing the populations to carry out their activities normally, without being conditioned by the existence of terrorism,” he said, referring to the region that is undergoing a serious humanitarian crisis, affecting about 860,000 people.

On Saturday, during a visit to another UETM training centre in Katembe, the President of the Republic said that a field hospital to support Mozambican troops in Cabo Delgado is being planned, and that non-lethal military equipment already approved will arrive soon.

Questioned by journalists, the Portuguese head of state had also said on Friday in Maputo that he was available to visit that province, if the President of the Republic, Filipe Nyusi, considered it appropriate to extend an invitation. The Cabo Delgado region is rich in natural gas but has been terrorised since 2017 by armed rebels in a conflict that has reportedly claimed at least 3 100 lives, with some attacks claimed by extremist group Islamic State

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