The European Union (EU) has agreed to establish a military training mission in Mozambique to help the government address the growing insurgency in the province of Cabo Delgado.
The move comes after the Mozambican authorities sought EU help amid a recent increase in violence.
The military mission will train and support the Mozambican Armed Forces to fight the insurgents. Particularly, the mission will focus on the capacity building of the units that will become a part of a future Quick Reaction Force.
The Mozambican forces will also receive specialised training on counter-terrorism, operational preparation and on the protection of civilians among others.
Initially, the mission will continue for two years.
The EU did not provide details on the overall size of the deployment. However, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told Reuters that around 200-300 soldiers can be deployed to Mozambique by the end of the year.
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Portugal has already sent some troops to Mozambique to conduct a training programme.
In a statement, the EU said: “The EUTM Mozambique mission commander will be the Director of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC), Vice Admiral Hervé Bléjean.
“Brigadier General Nuno Lemos Pires, a Portuguese national with over 38 years’ experience in command positions, including many in international missions, will lead the mission on the ground as force commander.”
Notably, the crisis in Cabo Delgado province has been deteriorating since 2017 triggering internal displacement of more than 700,000 people. The EU estimates that at least 1.3 million people require immediate humanitarian assistance and protection.
In March, the EU launched a $5.95bn off-budget fund to maintain international peace, boost stability and security. The fund is for a seven-year (2021-2027) period.