Home Mozambique EU launches military mission to train Mozambican army – Africa – World

EU launches military mission to train Mozambican army – Africa – World

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The European Union officially established a military mission in Mozambique on Monday to help train its armed forces fighting jihadists in the north of the country.

A deadly insurgency by militants linked to the Islamic State group has ravaged the gas-rich province of Cabo Delgado since late 2017, killing some 3,000 and displacing 800,000 people.

The former colonial master of Portugal is already training Mozambican troops.

Lisbon’s military instructors on the ground are expected to make up around half of the new EU mission, which will be led by a Portuguese commander.

“The objective of the mission is to train and support the Mozambican armed forces in the protection of the civilian population and the restoration of safety and security in the province of Cabo Delgado,” said an EU statement, without giving details on the overall scale of the deployment.

“The mandate of the mission will initially last two years. During this period, its strategic objective will be to support the capacity building of units of the Mozambican armed forces that will be part of a future Rapid Reaction Force.

A senior European diplomat told AFP in June that other countries, including France, Italy and Spain, are also expected to provide personnel for the mission.

The approval of the EU training mission comes as regional powers also seek to step up support for Mozambique‘s fight to quell the insurgency.

Last month, the 16 southern African countries of the SADC bloc approved the deployment of forces as the Mozambican government said it was open to foreign boots on the ground to fight the jihadists.

Rwanda announced on Friday that it would send a thousand troops.

The EU has several other training missions in Africa, notably in Mali, the Central African Republic and Somalia.

The operation in Mali – aimed at stepping up the fight against jihadists – continued despite concerns after the latest military coup that hit the country in May.

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