Maputo, 19 Dec (AIM) – The Portuguese Defence Minister, Helena Carreiras, has guaranteed that the European Union Military Mission in Mozambique (EUTM) will continue to support the fight against terrorism that has been plaguing the northern province of Cabo Delgado.
According to Carreiras, who was speaking to reporters on Monday, in Maputo, after meeting her Mozambican counterpart, Cristóvão Chume, “we continue to share the idea that we need to give continuity to this Mission, which is now being reassessed. The coming months will be important. We have been working with our partners, sharing also Mozambique’s position.”
The Portuguese minister, who was on a one day visit to Mozambique, believes that the EU will understand the need to capitalize on the effort made during the training of 11 groups of the Mozambican army.
“We are evaluating the first collaboration effort”, she said.
For his part, Chume said that it was pertinent to evaluate the capabilities that the EU had given the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM), in order to guide future decisions.
“We are evaluating the first collaborative effort with the European Union and, of course, we are discussing what we can do in the second phase”, said the minister, adding that “there is an additional effort beyond what our forces expected.”
Established in October 2021 by the European Council and with a two-year mandate, EUTM Mozambique is training the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM) to protect the population against terrorist attacks perpetrated by Islamist extremist groups operating in some districts in Cabo Delgado.
In addition to EUTM Mozambique, Mozambique has the support of the Southern African Development Community Military Mission to Mozambique (SAMIM) and Rwanda.
Since October 2017, Cabo Delgado has been the target of terrorist attacks that have killed more than 3,000 citizens and caused more than 900,000 people to flee to safer places, triggering a humanitarian crisis.