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With the insurrection in Mozambique gaining momentum, Mozambican intelligence services see Paris as necessary partners to Russian military aid, a French publication writes.
“The beheading of four Russian soldiers on 27 October has pointed up the limitations of Russian support for Mozambique’s defence forces. In early 2019, the American, British and French intelligence services offered their Mozambican counterpart, the Serviço de Informação e Segurança do Estado (SISE), access to their satellite images of the region, but until now the Mozambicans had shown no interest in the offer,” the Indian Ocean Newsletter (ION) writes,
According to sources, the head of SISE, former general commander of the Mozambican police force Júlio dos Santos Jane, recently planned a secret visit to Paris to discuss the possibility of cooperation. “Although the dates of this visit have yet to be agreed, as the Mozambican government preferred to negotiate the general election period before getting back to the French, its main focus is already clear,” ION adds.
Talks will centre on giving Mozambique access to French satellite images of Cabo Delgado, where an insurrection has been ongoing for the last two years. In late 2018, France launched the first satellite of its Composante Spatiale Optique (CSO-1), which is taking daily images of the region.
The French authorities are willing to cooperate, not least because the security of Total personnel is a concern now that they are operating in Afungi in the far north of the country. France, which also has interests in the Mozambique Channel through Mayotte and the Scattered Islands, is already analysing its images of the region.
However, the arrival of the paramilitary organisation ChVK Wagner, which has close ties to the Kremlin, had put all negotiations on hold. The Russian presence also put on ice a similar offer from the United States, despite the fact that ExxonMobil is operating alongside Total in Mozambique.
A few days ago, Moz24h identified a reconnaissance aircraft with front and rear cameras on the runway at Pemba Airport.
By Luis Nhacote
Um aviao de reconhecimento da @PALaerospace visto em Pemba, #CaboDelgado. Estava equipado de camaras frontais e traseiras, segundo o Moz24h https://t.co/vyousLZjOE Com quem estará la? Sabe se também que a companhia opera com a AFRICOM na vigilância marítima da ZEE das Seychelles pic.twitter.com/SmfMFXsXGw
— Alexandre (@AllexandreMZ) December 3, 2019
Source: Moz24 with ION
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