Mozambique: EU sets up a military training mission to help address the crisis in Cabo Delgado

The Council today adopted a decision setting up an EU military training mission in Mozambique (EUTM Mozambique). The aim of the mission is to train and support the Mozambican armed forces in protecting the civilian population and restoring safety and security in the Cabo Delgado province.

The Council decision is the EU response to the Mozambican authorities’ request for reinforced EU engagement in the areas of peace and security. In his letter of 3 June 2021, the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, welcomed the deployment of an EU military training non-executive Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission in the country.

The mandate of the mission will initially last two years. During this period, its strategic objective will be to support the capacity building of the units of the Mozambican armed forces that will be part of a future Quick Reaction Force. In particular, the mission will provide military training including operational preparation, specialised training on counter-terrorism, and training and education on the protection of civilians and compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights law.

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.

The security and humanitarian situation in the Cabo Delgado province has been continuously and seriously deteriorating since 2017. An escalation of violence has led to the internal displacement of more than 700 000 people. It is estimated that at least 1.3 million people in Cabo Delgado and the neighbouring provinces of Niassa and Nampula require immediate humanitarian assistance and protection.

The new CSDP mission will be one of the tools in the EU’s Integrated Approach to the crisis in Cabo Delgado, in conjunction with support for peacebuilding, conflict prevention and dialogue support, humanitarian assistance and development cooperation, and the promotion of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.

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