The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, during a virtual meeting with the Mozambican head of state, Filipe Nyusi, promised his organisation’s “concrete support”, in aspects of security, development and humanitarian action as countermeasures to the armed violence in Cabo Delgado.
Armed groups have terrorised the northern province since 2017, with some attacks claimed by the ‘jihadi’ group Islamic State, in a wave of violence that has already caused more than 2,800 deaths according to the ACLED conflict registration project and 714,000 displaced people, according to the Mozambican government.
The European Union (EU) has shown its openness to support the country, having visited Mozambique, between May 19 and 28, for a technical mission on the province of Cabo Delgado to assess its needs.
“The President of the European Council thanked the reception of the technical team and informed that the concrete support to be provided by the European Union is in its final preparations, in the form of an integrated approach that includes aspects of security, development and humanitarian action”, reads the note issued by the Mozambican Presidency.
On May 28, Portugal’s Defense Minister João Gomes Cravinho said he expected the EU’s training mission in Mozambique to be formally approved this month, adding that “the expectation” is that the military will be on the ground around “three months later”.
The number of displaced people due to armed violence in Cabo Delgado increased with the attack on the village of Palma on March 24, an incursion that left dozens of deaths and injuries, without an announced official report.
The exodus from Palma continues and has already caused the displacement of some 68,000 people.
The Mozambican authorities announced that they had control of the town, but shootings have taken place and the situation has led French oil giant Total to abandon the project’s area for an indefinite period. Total’s LNG project was expected to start production in 2024 and is Africa’s largest private investment endeavour to date, upon which many of the expectations for Mozambique’s long-term economic growth are anchored.
In addition to armed violence in Cabo Delgado, at Monday’s virtual meeting, Charles Michel and Filipe Nyusi discussed bilateral cooperation and responses to the covid-19 pandemic.
“The president of the European Council expressed solidarity, on behalf of the European Union, and informed about his organisation’s readiness to provide support to Mozambique and African countries in the provision of vaccines and other interventions in response to covid-19 on the African continent”, added the note.