By Jorge Joaquim
The European Union on Monday formally established a military mission for Mozambique to train and support its armed forces in fighting against Islamic-State linked terrorists in gas-rich Cabo Delgado province.
The Council decision is the EU response to the Mozambican authorities’ request for reinforced EU engagement in the areas of peace and security, according to a statement seen by Pan Afican Visions. The mandate of the mission will initially last two years, it adds.
The mission will provide military training including operational preparation, specialised training on counter-terrorism, and training and education on the protection of civilians and compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights law.
The mission commander will be the Director of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC), Vice Admiral Hervé Bléjean. Brigadier General Nuno Lemos Pires, a Portuguese national with over 38 years’ experience in command positions including many in international missions, will lead the mission on the ground as force commander.
The security and humanitarian situation in the Cabo Delgado province has been continuously and seriously deteriorating since 2017. An escalation of violence has led to the internal displacement of more than 700 000 people. It is estimated that at least 1.3 million people in Cabo Delgado and the neighbouring provinces of Niassa and Nampula require immediate humanitarian assistance and protection.