1650 Mozambican Marines Trained Through European Union Training Mission

A training mission in Mozambique, launched by the European Union in 2021 to assist the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM) in its fight against an Islamic insurgency in the country’s northern Cabo Delgado Province, has announced today the successful training of 1650 special forces marines and commandos.

What You Need to Know:

The European Union Training Mission in Mozambique (EUTM-MOZ) was established at the request of the Mozambican government, who sought external aid in training its armed forces as an Islamic insurgency grew hot in Cabo Delgado.

Currently, the mission utilizes 119 instructors from 12 member states, with Portugal providing the bulk of instructors, to provide broad-based training that “is considered adequate for the type of insurgency” that exists in the north, according to EUTM-MOZ Brigadier General Joao Goncalves.

“EUTM-MOZ provides training and equipment to eleven Quick Reaction Forces (QRF): five from Mozambique Navy Fuzileiros and six from the Army Special Forces. Tactical Air Control Parties (TACP), from the Mozambique Air Force, are also being trained in order to integrate these Quick Reaction Forces,”

According to the EU Diplomatic Service. Additionally, 89 million euros (101 million USD) in funding from the European Peace Facility has been directed towards ensuring FADM has adequate (non-lethal) equipment such as vehicles, technical devices, and ground and amphibious mobility assets.

According to Portuguese publication Lusa, the mission’s mandate is set to end in September 2025, but it is likely there is work underway to ensure its continuation.

“The strategic review is underway, and I think the final decision will be announced soon. But Mozambique has expressed its desire for us to continue, and this is also a vote of appreciation for what we are doing. The indications I have are that the European Union and the member states are making this assessment in order to make a final decision very soon, probably in the next few weeks,” said Brigadier Goncalves.

So, What Now?:

Despite the drop in insurgent activity between July 2021 and December 2023 due to the presence of Rwandan and Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) forces, attacks have increased again in recent months, creating questions around the effectiveness of a military intervention without humanitarian programs to bolster it.

The 6-year-long conflict has its roots in the socio-economic marginalization of the north due to the discovery of mineral and gas deposits, which has increased inequality, driving young men towards radical political and religious ideology. With SAMIM set to withdraw from the country in July 2024, it is likely that international stakeholders will push for some sort of mission, whether that be EUTM-MOZ or some other, to remain in the country. Attacks by Islamic militants have increased in Africa in 2024, particularly in the Sahel, making the containment of Mozambique’s insurgency key to the stability in the south of the continent.

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.

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