By Arnaldo Cuamba
Indian Defence Minister Raksha Mantri said on Monday that his country will help Mozambique to deal with the growing menace of terrorism and radicalisation in Cabo Delgado province, where more than 300 people were killed since 2017 by unknown armed group.
Mantri is currently on an official visit to Maputo, Mozambique from July 28-30, 2019. This is Shri Rajnath Singh’s first visit abroad as Raksha Mantri and the first-ever visit of Defence Minister of India to Mozambique.
On Monday, Mantri called on Mr. Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, the Prime Minister of Mozambique. He also held delegation-level talks with his counterpart Mr. Atanasio Salvador M’tumuke. After the talks, two Memoranda of Understanding – agreement on sharing white shipping information and co-operation in the field of Hydrography – were signed between both coutries. The signing of the two MoUs will further strengthen the ongoing Indo-Mozambican Defence co-operation.
The visit witnessed the growing defence co-operation between Mozambique and India, and the potential such collaboration offers for enhancing security in the Indian Ocean Region. Mantri announced assistance of communication equipment and highlighted the importance of working together to prevent non-traditional threats like smuggling, terrorism, piracy, poaching, etc. and overall co-operation in the maritime domain.
The Mozambican Defense Minister, Atanasio Salvador M’tumuke, briefed Mantri on the internal security situation and the ongoing DisaMantriament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) process. Mantri conveyed best wishes for the ongoing peace process.
Mozambique sought co-operation from India to deal with the growing menace of terrorism and radicalisation and Mantri assured co-operation and reiterated commitment to work together in this regard.
Also an elaborate ceremony was held on Monday at Mozambican Naval Headquarters to hand over two India-made Fast Interceptor Boats (FIBs) to Mozambique. The handing over certificate was signed by the Director General, Coast Guards of India and Chief of Mozambican Navy. A four-member ICGS team is also assisting with training and support for maintenance and operation of the two boats. Mozambican Defence Minister expressed gratitude for India’s support for Mozambican Defence Forces, in particular, for the boats being used for coastal surveillance.
India shares close, warm and friendly relations with Mozambique which is cemented by robust development partnership and a large presence of the Indian Diaspora. The visit of Mantri is expected to further strengthen relations with Mozambique.