London — The European Union will next month consider sending military personnel to Mozambique to give support and training.
According to a report by the Reuters news agency, the Portuguese Foreign Minister, Augusto Santos Silva, on Wednesday told a parliamentary committee in Lisbon that he hoped the mission would be approved at the next meeting of EU foreign ministers on 12 July. He stated, "we hope that...it will be formally approved so we can launch this European mission to support Mozambique in the fight against terrorism".
Parts of the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado have been under attack from islamist terrorists since October 2017, forcing people from their homes and destroying livelihoods. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the number of people displaced due to terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado increased from 172,000 in April 2020 to over 732,000 by the end of April 2021. It warns that, as a result of the conflict, more than 900,000 people are severely food insecure. Displaced people and host communities are also in urgent need of shelter, protection, and other services.
The defence and security situation was discussed at a virtual meeting Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi held with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on 7 June at which the two leaders reviewed the findings of the visit by an EU technical team to Mozambique on 19 - 28 May.
Meanwhile, a lack of funds from the international community is the main barrier to delivering aid to the 1.1 million people affected by the conflict. According to OCHA, aid agencies have only received 22.3 million dollars in funding which is just nine per cent of the 254 million dollars needed.