The European Union will offer support to Mozambique against militants in the north, Antonio Sánchez Gaspar, the EU’s ambassador to the African state, announced on October 9.
Militants affiliated with ISIS have been wreaking havoc in northern Mozambique, especially in the gas-rich province of Cabo Delgado, since 2017. Over 2,000 people were reportedly killed.
“The government of Mozambique has asked for help and we will give, but it is more aid in terms of training, logistics and medical services for the forces that are fighting terrorism in northern Mozambique,” Reuters quoted Gaspar as saying “So far all of our efforts have been on the humanitarian emergency and development side. We will continue to make efforts on the security side, which is just beginning.”
Earlier this month, Mozambique’s President, Filipe Nyusi, called on the EU help to stop attacks by ISIS-linked groups in its northern region. Mozambique is hoping that the EU will help train its armed forces to battle the insurgency.
Earlier this year, ISIS-affiliated militants launched a series of bloody attacks in Cabo Delgado. The repeated attacks are threatening a large gas exploration project in the province with the cost of $60 bn. In one of their attacks, the militants captured the town of Mocimboa da Paria, which was used as a port to deliver supplies for the project.
The militant’s attacks were not limited to Mozambique’s mainland. Recently, the militants captured the islands of Vamizi and Mecungo off Cabo Delgado’s coast.
The EU support, if serious, can help put an end to the militants’ insurgency in northern Mozambique. A recent report by Amnesty International accused both sides of the conflict of committing war crimes. The country’s defense ministry is denying these accusations.