The European Union on Friday confirmed that it is ready to support Mozambique in its fight against the islamist terrorists who have been rampaging through several districts in the northern province of Cabo Delgado since October 2017.
The EU promise comes in response to a request made by the Mozambican government in September, asking for humanitarian and logistical support, and specialist training for the Mozambican defence and security forces.
The conformation came from the EU ambassador to Mozambique, Antonio Sánchez-Benedito Gaspar, who bore a letter from Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, which he delivered to Mozambican Foreign Minister Veronica Macamo.
“In this letter”, Gaspar told reporters, “the European Union confirms its full solidarity with the people and government of Mozambique, in the current situation of armed violence that the country is living through in Cabo Delgado”.
The EU, he added, is committing itself “first to combat this terrorism, and at the same time to provide support for the population”.
The EU support rests on three pillars, namely humanitarian assistance, security and development, Gaspar said, but he ruled out sending European troops to Mozambique.
“The Mozambican government was very clear, and this is not on the agenda”, he said. “What is on the agenda are other questions which are also very important for strengthening the capacities of the Mozambican state to combat violence in the north”.
He added that all the requests made by the Mozambican government have met with a positive response. The EU will now work on the details of these requests on matters of military training, logistics, and medical assistance for the defence forces.
As for Mozambique’s second armed conflict, the murderous ambushes and raids in the central provinces of Manica and Sofala carried out by the self-styled “Renamo Military Junta”, Mirko Manzoni, the Personal Representative to Mozambique of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Friday reiterated his appeal to the Junta’s leader, Mariano Nhongo, to join the current demobilization of the Renamo militia.
“All Mozambicans deserve to live without fear, and I firmly believe that peaceful resolution of the conflict through communication and dialogue is the only credible way of advancing”, he stressed.
In his written declaration. Manzoni guaranteed that he remains committed to ensuring a definitive peace for Mozambique, and he invited all Mozambicans to play a role in achieving this objective.
He said that the progress made so far in demobilizing and disarming the Renamo militia and reintegrating its members into society was evidence of the will of the Mozambican people to guarantee a peaceful future.
“I have witnessed first hand the hope and the relief felt by the former combatants, now that they finally have the opportunity to go home”, he added. “For me, it is obvious that there is no desire to return to the days of conflict”.
President Filipe Nyusi responded immediately to Manzoni’s declaration, saying that he remains willing to continue the government’s dialogue with Renamo to ensure effective peace.
Speaking in the central city of Chimoio, he urged the Renamo dissidents under Nhongo to lay down their weapons and join the demobilization. The same appeal has also been made by Renamo leader Ossufo Momade – but so far there is no sign that Nhongo is paying any attention.
Nyusi declared that peace and security are fundamental requirements for economic growth. “I am available to lead this peace process here in Manica, and throughout the country”, he said. “I shall continue to collaborate with the Renamo leadership and I invite our brothers to join us to develop this country. The country needs all Mozambicans”.