The Portuguese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs believes that it is “essential” and “urgent” to reinforce cooperation between the European Union and Mozambique, in the context of the wave of violence seen in Cabo Delgado Province, in the north of the country.
At a press conference after the Foreign Affairs Council, Augusto Santos Silva said that discussions were held at the meeting “in favour of a speedy decision on a support mission for training Mozambican troops, so that the peace and security component of the cooperation between the European Union and Mozambique can be duly reinforced”.
Santos Silva emphasised that it was clear to the 27 that there was a “sense of urgency: the later we intervene through support for Mozambique in its fight against terrorism, the stronger that terrorism will become. Therefore, we must intervene as soon as possible”, adding that “the question of the presence of foreign troops on Mozambican soil was never at issue, and is not now”, but rather “a mission aimed at providing training for special military forces”, he concluded.
Since 2017, Cabo Delgado Province, around 2500 kilometres from the capital, Maputo, has been targeted by different armed groups, in a wave of violence that has generated around 700,000 displaced people, according to the United Nations, and an undetermined number of deaths.
The goal of this strategy is to contribute to the stability, security, prosperity and sustainable development of the region, at a time when it is suffering an increase in challenges and tensions. The Council tasked the High Representative and the Commission with preparing a joint communication on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region by September.