Home International EU starts mission to train Mozambique troops to fight insurgency

EU starts mission to train Mozambique troops to fight insurgency

135

The European Union on Wednesday launched a two-year mission to train Mozambique troops to fight an Islamic State-linked insurgency in the country’s northernmost province Cabo Delgado.

Mozambican soldiers march during Armed Forces Day celebrations in Pemba, Mozambique, September 25, 2021. File picture: Reuters/Baz Ratner

MAPUTO – The European Union on Wednesday launched a two-year mission to train Mozambique troops to fight an Islamic State-linked insurgency in the country’s northernmost province Cabo Delgado.

The insurgency, which broke out in 2017, has escalated dramatically with militants seizing whole towns and this year bringing a $20 billion liquefied natural gas project led by France’s Total to a grinding halt in an attack.

More than 3,000 people have died in the violence and over 800,000 people have been displaced, EU Ambassador Antonio Sanchez-Benedito Gaspar said, adding the security issues threaten to spill over across provincial and national borders.

“No country, no region and no organisation can face these global challenges alone,” he said.

The EU’s mission will see 11 Mozambican special force units trained and equipped over the period, with the training focused on both strengthening the army’s operational capacity and human rights and international law – key to winning the population’s support in a conflict zone, Sanchez-Benedito Gaspar said.

Mozambique has also accepted help from a number of other governments, including training from the United States and military intervention from a regional bloc of African nations and Rwanda. This has seen previously inaccessible areas cleared of insurgents and individuals, and weapons and bases captured.

Before that, the southern African country’s army was losing ground and stood accused by rights groups of abuses against civilians. The government dismissed the allegations, saying that insurgents regularly impersonated soldiers.

Defence Minister Jaime Neto said the additional support from the EU will reinforce the security gains made in the province.

“Our focus is to restore security … We believe this process of specialising our troops is the right step towards achieving this goal,” he said.

– REUTERS

Previous articleUPDATE: Nigeria in race to find survivors as 22 die in building collapse
Next articleSharma smashes India to first win at T20 World Cup