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The Government of Portugal yesterday conveyed to the Mozambican ambassador in Lisbon “a strong concern for the perception of the growing insecurity” of Portuguese citizens in the country, recently heightened by the abduction and murder of businessman José Paulo Antunes Caetano.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Director General of Foreign Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pedro da Costa Pereira, told Ambassador Joaquim Bule that “this perception has unfortunately been reinforced by several episodes marked by the disappearance or death of Portuguese [citizens] and has been heightened the circumstances in which the death of citizen José Paulo Antunes Caetano occurred on November 11, 2018”.
“The priority that the Portuguese Government attaches to the security conditions in which the large Portuguese community in Mozambique lives, which has contributed significantly and significantly to the economic and social development” of Mozambique, was “signalled” at the meeting.
In order to “ensure the best security conditions” for Portuguese citizens living in Mozambique, the Portuguese Government expressed “the total commitment to explore with the Mozambican authorities the potential of the existing set of bilateral instruments and the possibility of creating new mechanisms to allow an adequate exchange of information between Portugal and Mozambique”.
The Mozambican ambassador to Lisbon “was also informed that the Portuguese Government intends to strengthen information and awareness measures for national citizens who move to or reside in Mozambique”.
The body of José Paulo Antunes Caetano was found on Sunday near the capital, Maputo, shortly after his abduction, and after the ransom demanded had been paid.
Another entrepreneur, Américo Sebastião, was abducted in Nhamapadza, Maringué district, central Mozambique on the morning of July 29, 2016, and is still missing.
Américo Sebastião was kidnapped at a filling station by uniformed men who handcuffed him and put him in one of two unmarked vehicles in which they then departed.
Portugal has repeatedly offered police and judicial cooperation in the attempt to locate Américo Sebastião, but the Mozambican authorities have refused.