By Jorge Joaquim
The United States’ coordinator for counter-terrorism, Nathan Sales, met this week with President Filipe Nyusi and foreign minister Veronica Macamo, and emphasised the need for international cooperation to defeat the insurgency in Cabo Delgado province.
“The United States is keenly interested in partnering with Mozambique,” he said, “deepening our friendship while we jointly confront the challenge of terrorism.”
More than 2,500 people have been killed and over 500,000 displaced.
US ambassador to Mozambique Dennis Hearne said that the US government was committed to working with Mozambique’s government and its private sector and civil society, to help people deal with the effects of terrorism.
He underscored the need to counter terrorism and violent extremism with security and development support, while protecting the civilian population and providing humanitarian assistance to those displaced by violence.
The U.S. Embassy has committed $42 million to humanitarian and socio-economic development projects in Cabo Delgado, complementing the priorities of the Agency for Integrated Development in the North. Additionally, through mobile medical teams funded through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, life-saving health services continue for those displaced due to violence in northern Mozambique. These efforts, and others, are part of the U.S. Government’s $500 million in annual assistance to Mozambique.
The violence in Mozambique has spiked this year in this aid-dependent country. The insurgents have occupied a strategic port in the town of Mocimboa da Praia since August 12.
Mozambican troops who have been deployed in the region have been overwhelmed by shortage of weapons and equipment. More importantly, they lack military training and familiarization with the northern region.
Sales is the most senior US government official to visit Mozambique in 2020.