Mozambique: Rebels kill three, kidnap minors in Nangade district, Cabo Delgado
File photo: Lusa
The Portuguese government has authorised expenditure of up to 40 million euros for the contract to be signed with the European Commission for the European Union Military Training Mission in Mozambique, says a resolution published on Thursday in the Official Gazette.
According to the resolution, the Cabinet decided “to authorise the expenditure relating to the contract to be signed with the European Union [EU] for the implementation of the assistance measure, under the European Peace Facility, to support military units trained by the European Union Military Training Mission in Mozambique.
The expenditure will be, “in accordance with Cabinet Decision (CFSP) 2021/2032 of 19 November 2021, up to a global amount of 40 million euros,” it adds.
The resolution determines, however, that “the financial burden resulting” from that amount “may not exceed, in each economic year”, the amounts of 30 million euros in 2022 and 10 million euros in 2023. But the amount set in each economic year “may be increased by the balance determined in the year preceding it”.
Also according to the document, “the financial costs resulting from this resolution are supported by funds entered or to be entered in the budget of the Directorate General for National Defence Policy, exclusively from the European Union.
The resolution delegates, “with the power to sub-delegate”, to the member of the Government responsible for the area of National Defence “the power to practice all subsequent acts to be carried out under this resolution”, which takes effect from the date of its approval.
The implementation of this assistance measure will have “a duration of 30 months, from the date of conclusion of the contract between the European Commission and the Ministry of National Defence, involving, during the first 12 months, European funding amounting to 40 million euros.
The province of Cabo Delegado, in northern Mozambique, “is experiencing a serious crisis at various levels, particularly humanitarian, economic and internal defence,” the document said.
The European Union, “aware of the vulnerabilities to which this population is subject and in order to avoid contagion to other provinces as well as neighbouring countries, has adopted, under the European Peace Facility,” the establishment of “a European Union Military Training Mission in Mozambique (EUTM Mozambique),” explains the resolution.
“Following this guideline, the strategic objective of EUTM Mozambique is to support capacity building for units of the Mozambican Armed Forces selected to constitute a future rapid reaction force, so that these units develop the necessary and sustainable capabilities to re-establish security in Cabo Delgado,” the resolution states.
Usually, the European Commission chooses non-governmental organisations for the implementation and execution of this type of project.
However, in the specific case of the province of Cabo Delgado, the European Commission “recognising the added value of having Portugal directly involved in this project, due to the good relations between the two countries, both for the privileged knowledge of the terrain and the proximity of the language, chose to have Portugal, through the Ministry of National Defence, as a partner”, the resolution stresses.
In this context, the Cabinet established, on 19 November 2021, that the implementation of the assistance measures is attributed to the Ministry of National Defence, which is responsible for providing the Mozambican units with “individual equipment for soldiers, collective equipment at company level, land and amphibious means of mobility, technical devices, and a field hospital.
Cabo Delgado province is rich in natural gas, but, terrorised since 2017, by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.
The conflict has led to more than 3,100 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project, and more than 859,000 displaced people, according to Mozambican authorities.
Since July, an offensive by government troops with support from Rwanda later joined by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has enabled an increase in security, recovering several areas which had been occupied by the rebels since August 2020.