Maputo-Katembe bridge turns into ‘vending hub’
The Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Maputo Bryan Hunt said on Thursday that the 2019 Cutlass Express naval exercise involving Mozambique would help halt the financing of extremist activities.
“An efficient patrol of the coast and shared waters can help eliminate funding for the operation of violent extremism in East Africa, including Mozambique,” Hunt said.
Hunt was speaking in Maputo yesterday at the exercise’s closing ceremony on behalf of the US diplomatic mission, which has been awaiting the arrival of a new ambassador since December.
The military exercise, which started on January 29, involved the armed forces of Mozambique and of 15 other countries.
#CutlassExpress has ended but the #partnerships #friendships #training will last for years to come. @USNavy @USAfricaCommand
.#USA #japan #canada #comoros #djibouti #france #india #kenya #madagascar #mauritius #mozambique #portugal #seychelles #somalia #tanzania #TheNetherlands pic.twitter.com/dITbMmKN4z
— U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet (@USNavyEurope) February 7, 2019
Hunt says that multilateral cooperation will be needed to combat extremism in East Africa and northern Mozambique.
“Violent extremists, including those who are terrorising districts in the far north of Cabo Delgado, do not recognise national boundaries and depend on an interconnected network of supporters across multiple countries to survive,” Hunt said.
The US believes that defence forces should cooperate with religious leaders, civil society and the public to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Hunt said Cutlass Express had been a success. Activities took place in three locations in the Indian Ocean, from the coast of Djibouti to Cabo Delgado in the northern part of Mozambique.
Four warships took part, two of them in Mozambican waters. The Mauritian Navy’s Barracuda corvette and French patrol vessel Le Malin anchored temporarily in Pemba, the capital of Cabo Delgado. When not involved in manoeuvres, the boats were open to visitors.
The province has been the target of armed attacks in remote locations which have cost 150 lives over the course of a year.
North American oil companies Andarko and Exxon Mobil are leading ongoing investments in the same province, and within four to five years will be extracting natural gas from some the largest offshore deposits in the world there.