EU military mission in Mozambique to be approved next month
LISBON, June 23 (Reuters) – A European Union military mission to support and train Mozambican troops to deal with the escalating ISIS-linked insurgency could be approved next month, a said the Portuguese Foreign Minister on Wednesday.
Augusto Santos Silva told lawmakers at a parliamentary committee in Lisbon that he hoped the mission would be given the green light at the next meeting of EU foreign ministers scheduled for July 12.
“We hope that it will be formally approved so that we can launch this European mission to support Mozambique in the fight against terrorism,” said Santos Silva.
Mozambique has been battling an insurgency in its northernmost province of Cabo Delgado since 2017 and violence has increased dramatically in the past year.
Dozens of civilians were killed in ISIS-related attacks in the coastal city of Palma in April, and a $ 20 billion liquefied natural gas project managed by oil giant Total (TOTF.PA) was interrupted by violence.
Portugal, which holds the rotating EU presidency until the end of the month, has already sent 60 troops to Mozambique to train local troops.
Josep Borrell, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, said in May that the EU could set up a military training mission in Mozambique within several months, acknowledging that the problem was to find countries other than Portugal to provide troops. Read more
By Patrícia Vicente Rua; Editing by Catarina Demony and Jonathan Oatis
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