Portugal: EU mission flies to Mozambique in response to violence in Cabo Delgado
The head of Portuguese diplomacy, Augusto Santos Silva, is flying to Mozambique on Tuesday as part of an EU mission in response to Maputo’s request for cooperation in the face of armed violence in Cabo Delgado.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs will travel to Maputo from 19 to 21 January, “representing the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, for “high-level political contacts with the Mozambican authorities”.
“This visit follows the request to the EU by Mozambique last September for increased cooperation on the security situation in Cabo Delgado province”.
In response to questions from the Lusa agency about the mission, a spokesman said on Monday that “the EU is following closely the persistent and destructive armed violence in northern Mozambique, recognising the serious humanitarian consequences and the threat of regional spread”.
“We stand ready to support the Government of Mozambique and will discuss the options in the forthcoming political and technical meetings. We are naturally ready to work closely with our African partners, and in particular with SADC [Southern African Development Community], in order to ensure a coherent and coordinated approach”, he added.
EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell told Lusa last week that the EU mission to Mozambique was scheduled for Tuesday and was then only dependent on final authorisation from Maputo.
Borrell announced in December that he had asked Santos Silva to go to Mozambique as his envoy to raise with the local authorities the situation in Cabo Delgado, the scene of armed violence attributed to extremist Islamic groups.
He pointed to training and military equipment, humanitarian aid to displaced populations and possibly coastal surveillance missions as possible areas of European cooperation.
The armed violence in Cabo Delgado, where the largest private multinational investment in Africa is taking place, for the exploitation of natural gas, is causing a humanitarian crisis with more than 2,000 deaths and 560,000 displaced people, without housing or food, mainly in the provincial capital, Pemba.
Some of the incursions have been claimed by the ‘jihadist’ Islamic state group since 2019.
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