Maputo — The European Union may train Mozambican troops in order to step up the fight against terrorism and strengthen cooperation in the security area, Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva announced in Maputo on Wednesday.
Santos Silva is on a three day visit to Mozambique, representing the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.
Speaking to reporters immediately after an audience granted by President Filipe Nyusi, the Portuguese Minister said that pressing areas for cooperation had been identified, and preparations to implement them are now under way.
The meeting with Nyusi, he said, "was very clear in identifying the areas where increased cooperation in security could immediately benefit Mozambique in the area of military training".
Santos Silva also mentioned humanitarian assistance for the population of the northern province of Cabo Delgado, which has been under attack from islamist terrorists since October 2017. The terrorist raids have driven an estimated 560,000 people from their homes. They have sought safety in parts of Cabo Delgado not directly affected by terrorism, or in neighbouring provinces such as Nampula and Niassa.
Silva added that EU support could be extended to the Agency for the Integrated Development of the North (ADIN), a recently established body intended to drive the development of all three northern provinces (Cabo Delgado, Niassa and Nampula).
"These areas were very clearly identified", he said. He was pleased with the meeting "because the best way of rapidly designing concrete European support is to start with a clear and precise identification of the priorities".
Silva believed that the consolidation of humanitarian support and development actions depends on the country's security. He also said that he was the bearer of a message of solidarity from the EU to the Mozambican people in the struggle they are waging against terrorism.
For her part, Mozambican Foreign Minister Veronica Macamo said that Nyusi had taken note of the interest expressed by the EU in cooperating with Mozambique in the fight against terrorism.
She said Nyusi had also informed Santos Silva of the progress in the demobilization and disarming of the militia of the main opposition party, Renamo, and of reintegrating its members into Mozambican society.