1. Rwandan Soldiers Arrive

The President of the Republic, Filipe Nyusi, confirmed on Friday, in Cabo Delgado, the arrival in Mozambique of military troops from Rwanda to support the fight against insurgents in Cabo Delgado. But the arrival of 1,000 Rwandan men in the country is not well regarded by the South Africangovernment. In an interview with the South African television network, SABC, the South African Defense Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, revealed that it was not agreed with the Heads of State of the region that the support of the Rwandan soldiers would arrive before the SADC force. “The issue of sending troops from Rwanda is a bilateral matter between Rwanda and Mozambique”, she said, considering that “it is regrettable that this dispatch takes place before the deployment of SADC troops, because whatever the bilateral relations between Rwanda and Mozambique, one would expect Rwanda to go to Mozambique in the context of a mandate given by heads of state in the SADC region”. But she acknowledges that this is a bilateral issue, “a situation over which we have no control. It means that Mozambique has agreed with the Rwandans that the military forces of Rwanda can enter the country, however this is not how our heads of state decided”. However, on Sunday 11 July, in a speech in Beira, the Mozambican Minister of Defence Jaime Neto said that Mozambique is free to enlist the support of other African countries, and that the Rwandese soldiers arrived before the SADC force because “a bilateral agreement is more flexible”.

The arrival of the SADC alert force is scheduled for Thursday, July 15th, according to information provided in a letter written by the Executive Secretary of the regional organization and addressed to the Secretary General of the Nations United and confirmed on Friday by the Mozambican Head of State, Filipe Nyusi.

2. Date Announced for SADC Intervention

On 15 July the military intervention by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Cabo Delgado begins. The information was disclosed by the SADC Secretariat itself in a statement addressed to the UN secretary general, António Guterres. The southern African bloc of countries asked Guterres to share information about the deadline on July 15th with the United Nations Security Council. The SADC military intervention in Cabo Delgado is expected to last for three months with the possibility of the deadline being extended. According to the statement released by SADC Thursday 8 July, the mission has, among other objectives, “support the Republic of Mozambique in the fight against acts of terrorism and extremist violence, in addition to supporting the country in restoring the rule of law in the affected areas of Cabo Delgado province”.

The SADC communiqué refers to a mission under “scenario 6”, which characterizes the employment of military troops. The Center for Democracy and Development (CDD) criticizes the lack of publicity for the SADC initiative internally in Mozambique. The NGO promoting good governance stresses that information about the “imminent military intervention continues to reach Mozambicans through external sources”. According to a statement released by the CDD’s Twitter account, the population of Cabo Delgado should be “once again surprised by the presence of foreign military personnel from various countries in the region” as occurred “when the Government bet on hiring mercenaries”.

Three officers of the Botswana Defence Force arrived in Pemba on Saturday 10 July to begin with the logistical preparations for the SADC deployment.

3. EU Mission to Cabo Delgado Approved

On Monday 12 June the European Union issued the following statement:

The Council today adopted a decision setting up an EU military training mission in Mozambique (EUTM Mozambique). The aim of the mission is to train and support the Mozambican armed forces in protecting the civilian population and restoring safety and security in the Cabo Delgado province.

The Council decision is the EU response to the Mozambican authorities’ request for reinforced EU engagement in the areas of peace and security. In his letter of 3 June 2021, the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, welcomed the deployment of an EU military training non-executive Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission in the country.

The mandate of the mission will initially last two years. During this period, its strategic objective will be to support the capacity building of the units of the Mozambican armed forces that will be part of a future Quick Reaction Force. In particular, the mission will provide military training including operational preparation, specialised training on counter-terrorism, and training and education on the protection of civilians and compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights law.

The EUTM Mozambique mission commander will be the Director of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC), Vice Admiral Hervé Bléjean. Brigadier General Nuno Lemos Pires, a Portuguese national with over 38 years’ experience in command positions including many in international missions, will lead the mission on the ground as force commander.

The security and humanitarian situation in the Cabo Delgado province has been continuously and seriously deteriorating since 2017. An escalation of violence has led to the internal displacement of more than 700 000 people. It is estimated that at least 1.3 million people in Cabo Delgado and the neighbouring provinces of Niassa and Nampula require immediate humanitarian assistance and protection.

The new CSDP mission will be one of the tools in the EU’s Integrated Approach to the crisis in Cabo Delgado, in conjunction with support for peacebuilding, conflict prevention and dialogue support, humanitarian assistance and development cooperation, and the promotion of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.

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