EU to assist with 'equipment' in Cabo Delgado - Mozambican President Nyusi

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  • President Nyusi says EU "equipment" in Cameroon is to be moved to Cabo Delgado.
  • The situation in Cabo Delgado can expand even outside borders.
  • Nyusi appealed for funding SADC and Rwandan Forces because the cost of war is high.

Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi says the European Union (EU) will send "equipment" to the Cabo Delgado region as part of its resolve to assist the Southern African country fend off insurgents.

This after Nyusi, in meetings with EU top diplomats in Brussels, Belgium, between Monday and Wednesday this week, asked for more support in the war-torn province.

"Within days, we will surely have support in terms of equipment which the EU uses and which is [currently] in Cameroon," Nyusi said at a press briefing.

READ | Multibillion-rand plan to reconstruct insurgency-hit Cabo Delgado

Almost a million people have been displaced by the ongoing insurgency and more than 3 000 have been declared dead in the gas oil-rich province since the beginning of the Islamic extremists' attacks in October 2017.

At the end of last year, the SADC Standby Force in Mozambique and the Rwanda Defence Force managed to reclaim some areas in the province.

Nyusi, during his meetings with the EU, warned that the situation was still volatile.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, wearing militar
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, wearing military fatigue in Pemba, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique.

"We have made it clear that substantial risks prevail, although the situation is encouraging, us having occupied the district headquarters and some (terrorists) bases having been fully destroyed."

"This situation can, at any moment, evolve again and expand to other regions of the country and even outside the borders," he said.

READ | Displaced people survive by eating grass amid discrimination in Mozambique

At the SADC Extraordinary Summit held in Malawi in early January, member states agreed to continue their mission for the next three months. A few days before, Nyusi held meetings with his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame, who also vowed to continue supporting the battle against insurgents in Cabo Delgado.

But in those separate engagements, both parties raised the cost issue of deploying their forces as a constraint. Rwanda would later ask for financial support from the EU, which will probably be granted as the EU mission in Mozambique is already training Rwandan forces in Cabo Delgado.

In confirming the financial constraints to the EU, Nyusi said: "The combat involves high costs for our partners. They will not continue for a long time, forever, and operations can be affected (if financial support is cut)."

Numerous think tanks argue that the crisis in Cabo Delgado is due to legitimate economic and political grievances that should be addressed in order to build peace.

Although complicated, they also include a long-standing grievance about marginalisation, particularly since the discovery of oil and gas in the province.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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