Maputo, 11 Aug (AIM) – The Presidents of Mozambique and Kenya, Filipe Nyusi and William Ruto, on Thursday condemned the military coup in Niger, and declared their support for any measures that the regional bloc, ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) may take in order to restore the democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, whom the coup leaders have threatened to kill.
Speaking at a joint press conference in Maputo, shortly after official talks with the Kenyan leader, Nyusi stressed his support for the African Union position that military takeovers cannot be accepted.
ECOWAS has been considering intervention in Niger to restore Bazoum to power. Nyusi and Ruto said they would support any intervention by ECOWAS.
“Our collective position is that we support ECOWAS and the interventions that are made to guarantee that we avoid and resist the slide into military dictatorships and the unconstitutional removal of governments”, said Ruto.
Nyusi added that “the continent and the world have evolved to a phase where power is transferred peacefully through elections, and no country should give itself the luxury of delaying development or evolving in an unconstitutional manner”.
The two presidents also expressed their horror at the internecine conflict in Sudan, which Ruto described as “senseless and unnecessary”.
“This kind of destruction of life, property and infrastructures cannot be justified in any way”, he said.
Also on Thursday, Mozambique and Kenya signed eight cooperation instruments of cooperation arising from the work undertaken by the Joint Commission between the two countries.
There are four memorandums of understanding on the fishery sector and blue economy, agriculture and livestock, electricity and capacity building in the public sector. The four other instruments are focused on mutual recognition and exchange of driving licences, mutual assistance in criminal matters, exchange of prisoners and defence cooperation.
“In our tête-à-tête meeting, we took into account the strengthening of bilateral relations in the sectors of defence and security, transport and mineral resources, agriculture and livestock. This visit is an opportunity to deepen relations at various levels”, Nyusi told reporters.
He said the agreements are fundamental for both countries, since they establish bases in the fight against the terrorism that has been threatening the African continent.
Nyusi added that Mozambique is interested in Kenya’s experience in banking and tourism sector. “As you know, Kenya has vast experience in managing conservation areas which are a tourist attraction”, he said.
For his part, Ruto said “We are in Mozambique to reaffirm the bonds of friendship and strengthen cooperation to ensure the development of both countries. We are convinced that the signing of these eight instruments will create conditions for development-oriented cooperation, as well as a more incisive approach in the defence and security sector, specifically in the fight against violent extremism and other crimes”.
Ruto announced that Kenya will offer training for 100 Mozambicans in the tourism sector.
The Kenyan leader also wanted to see the abolition of unnecessary red tape, including entry visas. He accepted that the waiver of entry visas could bring risks, since criminals “might take advantage of the situation”. But Ruto thought this was outweighed by the advantages of visa-free travel between the two countries.