Mozambique: CNE trying to secure funds from donors - AIM
File photo: Lusa
Portugal’s foreign minister, Augusto Santos Silva, said that the preparatory mission for European Union (EU) support to Mozambique, which he will lead, would take place in a few weeks, stressing that the urgency of the situation in Cabo Delgado “calls for speed”.
The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, on Tuesday said that he had asked Santos Silva to travel to Mozambique as his envoy, to raise with local authorities the situation in Cabo Delgado, where armed violence, allegedly by extremist Islamic groups, has already caused over 1,000 deaths and over 500,000 displaced people.
“The urgency calls for speed and the mission will take place within a few weeks,” Augusto Santos Silva told Lusa.
Santos Silva said that the terms of reference for the mission were currently being finalised so that the agenda for contacts could then be set with the Mozambican authorities.
He was honoured with the appointment to lead the mission on behalf of Josep Borrell, considering that he would contribute to the European Union’s response in support of Mozambique being as quick and effective as possible.
Santos Silva’s choice comes at a time when Portugal is preparing to chair the Council of the EU from 1 January.
In his statement to the Lusa agency, the head of Portuguese diplomacy rejected criticism of the delay in the European response to the situation of violence and humanitarian crisis in Cabo Delgado.
“Mozambique is a sovereign state and decided to request support from the EU last September. The EU was in a position to prepare and organise such support from the moment Mozambique, a sovereign state, requested it,” he said.
“The positive response to be effective has to be prepared,” he added.
Santos Silva also noted that the Mozambican authorities had decided to request bilateral support from several countries, including Portugal, noting that this response was being organised through the defence ministers of the two member states of the Community of Portuguese-Language Countries (CPLP).
According to Santos Silva, there are several bilateral supports, besides that of Portugal, which are being prepared and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) announced an extraordinary summit on the situation in northern Mozambique.
“The seriousness of the situation, which concerns not only Mozambique but the whole of East Africa and global security, is well understood by all and we are mobilising to support Mozambique,” he said.
The choice of Santos Silva as special envoy to Mozambique was announced by Josep Borrell during the second debate in three months at the European Parliament in Brussels on the humanitarian and security crisis in northern Mozambique.
During the debate, and given MEPs’ criticism of the alleged inaction of the EU in Mozambique, Borrell, in addition to recalling the financial support already provided – €37 million in humanitarian aid this year alone – said that a team of security experts had been ready to travel to Mozambique since November but was still waiting for the green light from the Mozambican government.
Borrell said that the situation on the ground continued to deteriorate, with Portuguese MEPs, in particular the leader of the PSD delegation, Paulo Rangel, criticising the appointment of a representative.
“I am sure the Portuguese presidency will do its part, but the EU cannot ostracise Mozambique, as it has been doing since your Excellency took up this post,” he said, recalling that this crisis has been going on for three years.
The armed violence in Cabo Delgado, where the largest private multinational investment in Africa is taking place, for the exploitation of natural gas, is causing a humanitarian crisis with more than 2,000 deaths and 560,000 displaced people, without housing or food, mainly concentrated in the provincial capital, Pemba.