skip to main content

EU approves Mozambique training mission

EU foreign ministers agreed on 12 July a new military training mission in Mozambique before the end of this year to help the country reassert control over its northern Cabo Delgado province.

EU Training Mission (EUTM) Mozambique's initial mandate will be for two years, during which its strategic objective will be to train Mozambican units as “a future quick-reaction force”, the EU said in a statement issued after the decision. It added that the mission's tasks will include “operational preparation, specialised training on counter-terrorism, and training and education on the protection of civilians”.

Speaking to reporters after the ministers' meeting in Brussels, Josep Borrell, the EU's foreign and security policy chief, said the decision to launch EUTM Mozambique “was taken in record time, quicker than [for] any other EUTM”.

The mission “now needs to be properly resourced and accompanied by the adequate assistance measures”, he said, adding that it will “not be a big mission”, with around 200–300 personnel. By contrast, EUTM Mali has approximately 1,300 personnel.

Half of EUTM Mozambique's personnel will be provided by Portugal, as well as the mission's first field commander, Army Brigadier General Nuno Lemos Pires. Lisbon has already been preparing the ground in the country, having sent a small contingent of soldiers there in May to train Mozambican troops in counter-insurgency tactics.

Mozambique could also be the first country to receive defence assistance under the EU's new European Peace Facility (EPF), according to officials. Activated on 1 July with funding of EUR5 billion (USD5.95 billion) for 2021–27, the EPF will help shore up security and defence structures in weak or failed states, mainly in Africa, with training, materials, and defensive weapons.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...