President advocates legal reforms in judiciary - Mozambique
File photo: Lusa
Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister Jose Pacheco announced yesterday that Russia has provided military equipment to Mozambique to support government forces in fighting armed groups in Cabo Delgado, Lusa news agency reports.
“This one-off support, which takes place within the framework of cooperation with Russia, is related to strengthening our ability to defend the people and maintain public order, security and tranquillity,” Jose Pacheco said at a press conference held moments after his arrival at Maputo International Airport, coming from New York, where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly.
Photographs of Russian material being unloaded at a northern Mozambican airport started doing the rounds on social media in September alongside reports of an alleged presence of Russian troops on the ground, to support the fight against a wave of armed attacks which have affected the region for two years.
The head of Mozambican diplomacy did not specify whether or not, apart from the equipment, there are Russian military in the region – a fact which the Russian embassy in Mozambique has denied. Likewise, Minister Pacheco neither disclosed the type nor the amount of military equipment supplied .
In a note sent to Lusa two weeks ago, the Russian embassy in Mozambique said that the deployment of Russian military units to foreign countries requires “the invitation of the partner state”, the signing of the respective agreements and “the approval of the upper house of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, as in the case of Syria.”
According to Pacheco, “all the supports are welcome” in order to give back security to the communities affected by the attacks in northern Mozambique.
“All Mozambicans have the challenge of pacifying the country. If on the one hand we have been successful with the peace agreement [signed between the Government and Renamo, the main opposition party], we still have this thorn in the province of Cabo Delgado, albeit with a localised dimension “, concluded José Pacheco.
In August, the Mozambican head of state, Filipe Nyusi, visited Russia. At the time, the Government of Mozambique expressed interest in strengthening bilateral cooperation, especially in the area of defence and security.
Some districts in Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique, have been the target of armed group attacks since two years ago, with violence reported almost every week despite the silence of the authorities.
According to figures collected by Lusa, the violence has already caused the deaths of at least 250 people, including residents, alleged perpetrators and members of the security forces.
The attacks occur in the region where the natural gas exploitation work s are to be located in the coming years.
The ‘jihadist’ Islamic State group has since June this year claimed to be associated with some of these attacks. However, both authorities and analysts heard by Lusa have found it unlikely that there is a genuine involvement of the terrorist group in the attacks.Source: Lusa