Tag Archives: Mozambique

Mozambique: fighting terrorism

Brussels 12.09.2022 “Last week I was in Mozambique, a country where EU support plays a significant including through one of the largest recipients of EU support and host to one of our EU military training missions” writes the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell.

“My visit aimed to show that the EU does not forget crises in other parts of the world, despite facing the worst threat to European security since the end of World War II with the war of aggression against Ukraine. Mozambique’s fight against terrorism is one of these security crises that we help to tackle using all EU instruments.”
n Europe, we are very focused on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its implications for European security. But other crises and global problems do not stop. On the contrary, they have often been aggravated by the consequences of this war. We need more than ever to continue to work with our partners around the globe to defend the rules-based order and to keep up our work on global challenges. For this purpose, the EU’s close partnership with Africa is crucial.

The EUTM Mozambique, launched in November 2021, is a key element in the EU’s commitment to help Mozambique’s fight against this terrorism. Over the next two years, it will train 11 units of the Mozambican army (commandos and marines) that will be part of a future Quick Reaction Force. In addition to military training, the EUTM is also providing training on human rights and international humanitarian law, in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and relevant UN organisations. Ten EU member states participate to the Mission with 110 soldiers deployed at the moment. This mission is now fully operational, having already trained 600 soldiers. During my stay in Mozambique, I visited the mission to hand over European Peace Facility (EPF)-funded equipment and witness a change of command.

In all of this, we work closely with the Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM), and during my visit, I announced the EU decision to provide € 15 million to this mission in addition to the € 89 million of EPF support. It is the first time ever that we train people while in parallel providing them with equipment. In the coming weeks, I hope that our member states will also agree on my proposal to support the Rwandese military mission that has been decisive to improve the situation in Cabo Delgado.

“This was the backdrop of my two-days visit to Mozambique. It is a coastal country in Southern Africa with an area bigger than any EU country, inhabited by some 30 million people. With its fast demographic growth (6 children per woman on average), its population is set to double by 2050 (and already now almost half of the population is under the age of 14). Mozambique ranks 181/189 on the Human Development Index and the poverty rate is above 60%. After the country became independent from Portugal in 1975, Mozambique went through a protracted civil war that ended in 1992, but it was only in 2019, that a “definitive” peace and reconciliation agreement was reached. My predecessor Federica Mogherini came to Maputo to witness the signature of this historic agreement that the EU supported significantly.

“While the agreement holds for most of the country, the northern Cabo Delgado province has suffered from armed attacks since 2017 leading to an unprecedented humanitarian and security crisis. Fighting have resulted in over 4.000 deaths, some 950,000 internally displaced persons and 1.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in this region. This insurgency is inspired and driven by ISIS, while local grievances and domestic root causes also play a significant role. Foreign fighters are involved and their transit to Cabo Delgado poses risks to neighbouring countries. Due to this instability, the region has become a hotspot of organised crime (heroin, wildlife, wood and gemstone trafficking for instance) in Mozambique and the entire Southern African region.

“Following the establishment of an EU training mission and the deployment in 2021 of Rwandan and Southern African Development Community (SADC) troops to Cabo Delgado to support the efforts of the Mozambican army, these armed groups temporarily lost the initiative. However, security incidents have continued in the province as the armed groups have dispersed and changed tactics.

But we know that you cannot win a war against terror with soldiers and weapons only. To win this kind of war, one needs to win the peace as well. This is why we work closely with the Government of Mozambique to cover the full spectrum of humanitarian, development, security and peace-building actions. In parallel to our security support, we focus on education, access to water and sanitation, energy, nutrition and climate change. This includes a package of € 428 million for the period 2021-2024, in addition to around €R 36 million of humanitarian assistance (mainly to Cabo Delgado since 2021).

Some journalists in Mozambique have asked me whether our support to the fight against terrorism in Cabo Delgado is linked to the gas reserves in this region. My answer was clear: the gas discoveries in Mozambique should benefit the Mozambican people first and foremost, while they can also help to tackle the global energy crisis and energy demand. But that is not the primary reason of our engagement in Mozambique. The security of Europe starts in places that can be sometimes thousands of kilometres away. The Somali crisis have had profound repercussions on the neighbouring countries and the ship traffic in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel crisis also started in a limited area and quickly spread all over the region. We need to help avoid that kind of large scale destabilization happening in another place on the continent. This is why we support the efforts of Mozambique in Cabo Delgado”.

Borrell visits Mozambique

Brussels 09.09.2022 “It has been a very important visit. And for me, it is a good occasion to discuss with our African partners about the very difficult and complex international landscape and the fundamental geopolitical developments that we have been living in during this year” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell addressing President Filipe Nyusi and Foreign Minister Dlhovo, for receiving him today Mozambique.

“In this geopolitical environment, the European Union wants to continue being a close partner of Africa, and in particular of Mozambique.

“At the moment, we are living the most difficult moment, the most challenging threats – I can say – to our own security since the end of World War II. But the European Union does not forget other crises in other parts of the world.

“We are very much aware that this war in Ukraine is affecting everybody, and that in some countries like in Mozambique, you have your own problems. And that they also deserve our attention.

“And I wanted to visit Mozambique, not only because it is one of the largest recipients of the European Union’s support. It is. Among all African countries, Mozambique is a country that receives strong support from the European Union, the third one in terms of absolute support.

“Not only because of that. That would be a good reason, but also because I wanted to express the commitment and solidarity of the European Union with Mozambique in fighting against terrorism and looking for peace. Unhappily, my visit coincides with the killing of six people in the Nampula province just yesterday. I took a good note of this, because this attack and this killing of six people is a stark reminder that the fight against terrorism is not over and that, unhappily, it is spreading out of the Cabo Delgado region to other regions.

“This is not a new threat. You, Minister, know that better than I do. And to help the Mozambican armed forces in Cabo Delgado, we have implemented in a record time, an [EU] Training Mission (EUTM Mozambique) that has already trained 600 soldiers. And will continue doing that.

“We are also delivering military capacities. Through our European Peace Facility, we are funding equipment such as pickup trucks and individual combat equipment. Tomorrow, in my visit to the Headquarters, the barracks of the mission, I will be witnessing the handover of this material to the Mozambican armed forces.

“I also want to commend the efforts of the Rwandan contingent and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission to Mozambique, the SAMIM, which we are also supporting.

“I am pleased that today I could announce to the President, the decision taken in Brussels, at the European Union Headquarters, just this morning, to provide €15 million to this mission.

“Allow me to point out, to show, the importance of our complementary military support to this training mission. We are going to provide €89 million on military capabilities for the units that we are training – not only training, but preparing them to fulfil their duty.

“But we know that we cannot win a war against terror only with soldiers and weapons. The solution cannot be only a military solution. In these circumstances, you cannot win the war if you do not win peace.

“Development needs peace and peace needs development. Both things have to go together, hand in hand. This is why our approach has to be comprehensive – not only military support, but also boosting economic development. Economic growth, job creation, wellbeing of the people, public services, education, health. These are the basis of peace. And that is why we are working closely with the government of Mozambique. And, in parallel to our security support, we are focusing on education, on access to water and sanitation, energy, nutrition and the fight against climate change. These are the basis of a good society. And a good society is the only remedy against terror.

“Allow me a last word. I want also to say that to strengthen our partnership with Mozambique, we want to do that on the international stage. Not only bilaterally, but also taking into account what is happening in the wider world.

“And I had to congratulate the President for the election of Mozambique as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. For which I want also to congratulate you, Foreign Minister [Verónica Macamo Dlhovo], as you will have to play an important role in New York.

“We hope that we will continue working with Mozambique to defend multilateralism and a rules-based international order – including the United Nations’ Charter, which is the basic pillar of this order. And multilateralism, nowadays, needs to be strengthened, not to be weakened. Because it is the best tool that we have to address global trends and challenges that threaten all of us, all around the world.”

Mozambique: EU allocates €45M

Brussels 21.04.2022 Today the Council adopted a decision amending the assistance measure for support to the Mozambican Armed Forces under the European Peace Facility (EPF) adopted in November 2021, adding a further amount of €45 million. This additional support brings overall EPF support for Mozambique to €89 million in total.

The assistance measure aims to strengthen EU support for capacity building and the deployment of the units of the Mozambican Armed Forces trained by the EU Training Mission in Mozambique (EUTM Mozambique). This support consists of the provision of integrated packages of equipment and supplies in conjunction with EU training missions. The aim is to ensure that the training is as efficient and effective as possible, enabling EUTM-trained troops to be fully operational and self-sufficient upon deployment.

Through this assistance measure, the EU will finance equipment to benefit the eleven Mozambican companies to be trained by the EUTM, including individual and collective equipment, ground mobility assets, as well as a field hospital.

The European Peace Facility was established in March 2021 to finance all Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) actions in military and defence areas, with the aim of preventing conflict, preserving peace and strengthening international security and stability. In particular, the European Peace Facility allows the EU to finance actions designed to strengthen the capacities of third states and regional and international organisations as regards military and defence matters.

Borrell travels Kenya and Mozambique

Brussels 28.01.2021 High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, will visit Kenya from 28-29 January and Mozambique from 30-31 January.

In Kenya, the High Representative will have several bilateral meetings and kick off the EU-Kenya Strategic Dialogue with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Raychelle Omamo, and other Kenyan ministers. The Strategic Dialogue will strengthen the EU’s and Kenya’s regional and multilateral cooperation and focuses on the areas of peace, security and stability; democracy, governance and human rights, including gender equality; trade and investment; social development; climate change and the green transition; and the digital agenda.

The EU-Kenya Strategic Dialogue was agreed by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and President Uhuru Kenyatta, in June 2021, to take the bilateral relationship to a new level.

High Representative Borrell will also launch the Kenya-European Union Cooperation Programme for the period 2021-2027, with an amount of €324 million for the first four years, and targeting above all environmental sustainability and resilience; human development and digital inclusion; and peace and stability, with a special focus on women and youth. In addition, he will also visit some EU supported projects and initiatives in Kenya that work on justice reform for the most vulnerable, green job creation and economic growth, and on wildlife and preservation of natural resources.

On 30-31 January, High Representative Borrell will travel to Mozambique, where he will meet with President Filipe Nyusi and Foreign Minister Verónica Macamo Dlhovo. Topics discussed will be EU-Mozambique cooperation, the implementation of the Maputo Peace and Reconciliation Accord, the work of the EU military training mission in Mozambique (EUTM Mozambique) and the EU integrated approach to address security challenges in Cabo Delgado and surrounding provinces.

The High Representative will also visit the headquarters and a training camp of EUTM Mozambique, and an EU-funded project on education and COVID-19 response.

This visit to Africa comes ahead of the sixth EU – AU Summit in Brussels on 17-18 February, attended by the leaders of the European Union and African Union Member States.

EU proposes ban on South Africa flights

Brussels 26.11.2021 Concerns over a new COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa have caused new wave of travel restrictions in Italy and Germany on Friday, November 26, as Brussels demands the EU-wide flight restrictions. (Image: illustration).

The European Commission will propose to suspend air travel from southern Africa amid concerns over this particular variant, EC President Ursula Von der Leyen announced on Friday.

The proposal could be enacted in urgent procedures on Friday night, November 26.

Germany, Italy and France have already announced measures to restrict air travel from the region.

Rome has banned entry on its territory to anyone who has stayed in southern Africa during fortnight, said health minister Roberto Speranza, invoking “maximum precaution” in the face of the new variant.

The countries targeted by this measure are South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini, the Minister has underlined.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Friday, November 26, airlines coming from South Africa will only be able to transport German citizens, meaning only repatriations will be possible.

South Africa, like much of the region, has suffered through three significant pandemic waves since the beginning. While the number of new infections across the country is now still relatively low and positivity levels are under 5%, public health officials have already predicted a fourth wave because of the mutations of the virus alike the one they have discovered now.

During a news briefing, South African genomic scientists said the variant has an unusually high number of mutations, with more than 30 in the key spike protein, which is the structure the virus uses to get into the cells they attack.

MOZAMBIQUE: EU training mission

Brussels 12.07.2021 “…Talking about defence and security issues, today we formally established, in a record time, the new European Training Mission for Mozambique. This is the second Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission that is being created during my mandate” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said during the press-conference in Brussels, concluding the Foreign Ministers Council.

“It has been done in a record time, in European terms ‘record time’ does not mean very quickly, but it has been done quicker than in any other mission.

“The new mission will be a fundamental part of our response to the government of Mozambique’s request to address the crisis in Cabo Delgado, in the northern part of the country, and to contribute to reinforce and re-establish security.

“This mission will train selected Mozambican units to help the armed forces in their efforts to bring back safety and security. This commitment now needs to be properly resourced and accompanied by the adequate assistance measures. So, I have been asking the Member States, once the mission has been agreed, to bring, to provide the means, the staff that this mission will require. It is not going to be a big mission, like the one that we have in Mali, but it is important that the people who will go to Mozambique to train Mozambican units will be highly qualified military elements”.

Mozambique: security crisis

Brussels 06.05.2021 “…Mozambique is a new issue that appears more and more in our agenda. I updated Ministers on our response to Mozambique’s request for European Union assistance to help address the security crisis and the terrorist threat they are facing in the region of Cabo Delgado” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell at press conference concluding the Foreign Affairs Council (Defence).

“Work is already ongoing. We are considering a potential European Union Training Mission, like the ones we already have in several African countries. We have a few steps ahead of us, but I hope it will be launched as soon as possible. I have given instructions to accelerate the work, because we must respond to Mozambique’s request with a certain sense of urgency that we do not always have”.

In Q&A session Josep Borrell said: “The official request of the Mozambican government is not from September. We have been talking and discussing. I cannot give you a precise date, but I think that – and I could be wrong – the official request of the Mozambican government is not as old as last September. It is true that we have been talking and discussing with them in an informal way.

“In any case, you are right. It shows that we have to react quicker. The sense of urgency is something that we have to push on this organisation. We have quite a heavy process and we have to accelerate it. This is part of the review of our strategy.

“It will be a military mission and Portugal has already offered half of the staff. In fact, Portugal has already sent in advance military instructors. This Portuguese mission has to be considered as an advance and it will be integrated in the European Union training mission if we finally agree on that. I think so. The political will is there and with a strong contribution from Portugal and I hope that other Member States will be able to complement the whole force”.

Mozambique: IS attack in Palma

In Mozambique on Monday March 29 the Islamic State fighters, according to their own claims, had carried out an attack on the northern town of Palma, where dozens were killed, thousands displaced and some people remain missing. The total number of dead or missing following the attack is unknown. While tens of thousands of people may have fled, according to three aid workers. (Image above: illustration).

Islamist insurgents targeted Palma, situated next to gas projects worth $60 billion, with a three-pronged attack during last week. Fighting continued on Monday, March 29, according to a security source directly involved in efforts to secure the town.

The Mozambique government confirmed on Sunday, March 28, that dozens of people were killed, including seven when their convoy of cars was ambushed during an escape attempt.

Islamic State claimed the attack via its Amaq news agency, saying its fighters had taken control of the town after days of clashes with security forces.

They had killed at least 55 people, including a number of soldiers, destroyed and taken control of buildings including factories and banks, and seized vehicles, the news wire informs.

Most communications to Palma have been cut off since last week.

The country’s northernmost province of Cabo Delgado, where Palma is located on the border with Tanzania, has been plagued since 2017 by Islamist insurgency now linked to Islamic State.

“The jihadist attack on Palma, #Mozambique, is an attack on French interests and against the region’s economic development. It is also an attack of incredible barbarism. My condolences to the families of the victims” Member of French National Assembly Marine Le Pen wrote on her Twitter micro blog.

Mozambique in MEPs focus

Brussels 15.12.2020 “The crisis in the northern part of Mozambique is already causing more than half a million displaced people and more than 2,000 deaths” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said, while debating the situation with Mozambique with the Members of the European Parliament in Brussels.

“And we, the European Union, continue to try to help through the humanitarian, development and peace-building axis, defending human rights at the centre of our response.

As if that were not enough, Cabo Delgado, one of the poorest provinces in Mozambique, with a tremendously fragile social structure, was devastated by Cyclone Kenneth in 2019. This has only aggravated a situation that is now complicated by the extension of the terrorism that comes from the north, from Somalia.

We have specialised teams working on the situation in Mozambique. We have permanent contacts with the government and with international institutions, the United Nations, the African Union and the United States.

We have allocated 100 million euros in the resilience program with the government to respond to the socio-economic consequences of COVID-19. And, of course, we are ready to study the possibility of contributing more resources.

This year we have already contributed 37 million euros in humanitarian aid, primarily to Cabo Delgado.

We are strengthening cooperation with all countries in the region, combating the impact of human trafficking – which, unfortunately, will increase with this situation – and helping to implement the Maputo peace agreement between the Mozambican government and RENAMO.
But the prospects are not positive, ladies and gentlemen. The situation in Mozambique is deteriorating under the protection and heat of natural disasters and of a country with extremely serious government difficulties.

In reality, it is the entire façade from the Horn of Africa to the Indian Ocean that is being the scene of an extension of conflicts and the spread of terrorist forces.

We are very concerned about the situation. It does not appear that we have improved in the Somalia area to the south. The recent tensions between Somalia and Kenya are not going to help either, but within Mozambique we must surely take stronger measures.

I have asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal [Augusto Santos Silva], who will assume the presidency shortly, to travel to the region as my personal envoy – since I cannot go due to scheduling reasons – and I have asked him as colleague of the [Foreign Affairs] Council, please pay special attention during your presidency to what is happening in that country, which Portugal knows very well.

Is what I can tell you. I cannot bring you many positive elements, just rest assured that we mobilize all the resources we have to act in Mozambique”.

Mozambique: EU offers security support

The European Union will offer Mozambique support in addressing a wave of militant attacks in the country’s north by rebels with links to international terrorist groups, the EU’s ambassador to the southern African nation informed via his Twitter micro blog on October 9. Militant attacks in Cabo Delgado grew by 300% in the first four months of 2020, compared to the same period last year, according to Amnesty International.

The rebel attacks in Cabo Delgado province date back to 2017 but the violence has gathered pace this year with insurgents seizing important towns for brief periods and hitting military and other strategic targets.

Mozambique had asked the EU for help in training its armed forces to battle the insurgency, which has raised fears for stability and security in southern Africa.

“The government of Mozambique has asked for help and we will give, but it is more aid in terms of training, logistics and medical services for the forces that are fighting terrorism in northern Mozambique,” the EU’s ambassador to Maputo, Antonio Sánchez Gaspar, said.

“So far all of our efforts have been on the humanitarian emergency and development side. We will continue to make efforts on the security side, which is just beginning,” he said.

Rights group Amnesty International last month accused Mozambican soldiers of committing atrocities in the northern conflict zone, but the defence ministry dismissed the reports, saying militants regularly impersonated soldiers.

A growing Islamist insurgency in northern Mozambique entered its fourth year this week, with experts saying there is no end in sight for a conflict that has killed and displaced thousands of people.

Since the first attack in 2017 by al-Shabaab in the province of Cabo Delgado, militants have taken control of territory in the northern province, including a strategic port, and burned down dozens of villages. Al-Shabaab is considered the Mozambique affiliate of Islamic State.

The United Nations says the violence has forced over 300,000 people to flee their homes, seeking refuge in safer parts of Cabo Delgado and neighboring provinces. More than 2,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the conflict.

The Republic of Mozambique has a very young and rural-based population. Since the end of the 15 year long civil war, Mozambique has had a high economic growth rate linked to economic reform and the revival of the agriculture, transportation, and tourism sectors. The country is highly exposed to climate hazards, such as droughts, floods, and coastal storms, and will need to adapt to climate change.

Mozambique’s development is expected to improve thanks to the country’s important reserves of coal and natural gas provided that security and stability are achieved in these regions

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