Mozambique’s ability to adequately fund government ministries – including its military – has been hamstrung by tight fiscal rules imposed by the International Monetary Fund as conditions for accepting loans. Now, Maputo must reluctantly invite foreign forces onto its territory, something its fiercely independent government has long resisted doing.
The European Union has created a two-year military force it will deploy to Mozambique to train that country’s troops amid a growing insurgency in Cabo Delgado province. The news comes as several African nations prepare to send their own forces – and fears that all the deployments could butt heads.
According to a Monday statement by the European Union, the mandate will initially last for two years, during which the EU Training Mission Mozambique (EUTM Mozambique) will “support the capacity building of the units of the Mozambican armed forces that will be part of a future Quick Reaction Force.”
Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado Province is home to the country’s most valuable natural resources, including rubies and liquid natural gas – but also to an insurgency that has steadily grown since 2017, in large part fueled by the pressures put on the region’s impoverished Muslim population by new mining exploration and construction projects. Nearly 3,000 people have been killed in the violence, which has sent another 800,000 fleeing to safety, and the cash-strapped Mozambican military has struggled to put down the revolt,…