1. Bishop Of Lichinga Appeals For Assistance For Niassa IDP’s

The insurgent attacks in the province of Niassa have displaced more than 4,000. The insurgents’ first incursion in this region took place in the district of Mecula, and the situation is already creating a climate of fear and terror in the communities, says the Bishop of Lichinga, Bishop Atanásio Amisse Canira. Speaking in an interview with the Catholic Broadcaster of Beira Radio Pax, added that the Church in Lichinga has been appealing to the population residing in the unaffected regions, for greater solidarity with the displaced, at a time when the Caritas Diocesana also works to provide support to victims of terrorism in Cabo Delgado, refugees in Niassa.

Unable to access the Catholic communities of Mecula, due to the situation of insecurity, some faithful from this region find themselves refugees in the district of Marrupa, where they are pastorally assisted by the priests of the Korean Missionary Society. The IDPs in Niassa need agricultural inputs for food production, in addition to shelter, clothing and school supplies, says Dom Atanásio. In addition to displacing families, the attacks in Niassa have already caused deaths and destruction of various infrastructures.


2. Success Of Counter Insurgency Called Into Question

Deutsche Welle Africa on 4 February 2022 said that the insurgents’ return in force to areas under their former control called into question the “cleansing” of these areas by joint forces. Researchers suggest care in assessing Rwanda’s presence in relation to the insurgents.

The press reported that on February 2, Matemo was attacked by insurgents; on 27 and 28 January they attacked Meluco and on January 26, 18 and 15 it was Macomia’s turn. Reports are of murders by dismemberment, kidnappings of women and children, and destruction. These are some of the insurgent actions that have once again occurred daily in Cabo Delgado, about six months after the start of the Rwandan military intervention and the Military Mission of the Southern African Development Community in Mozambique (SAMIM). Academic Eísio Macamo recalls that “there was a time when you could say that Rwanda was doing well in Cabo Delgado, and to some extent

these results are better than the results that our Defence and Security forces have had over four years.” But today doubts arise about the “brilliance” of such forces, in Macamo’s view: “At this moment we do not know how the situation is there. There are already reports of insurgents in the surrounding provinces. At this point we must be careful about how we assess Rwanda’s presence in that region and conflict.”

Insecurity again stalks the population of places recently recovered by the joint forces, signalling a retreat in their achievements. At the same time, recent news reports indicate casualties among the insurgents, including among their leadership, as well as the seizure of their war material. Meanwhile, counterterrorism expert Jasmine Opperman warns that “The insurgency is well organized, has its own structure and is betting more on a holistic strategy. We’re beyond the stage where killers just go back to creating confusion. They set clear goals. One is a serious anti-government sentiment,” she says.

In addition to the insurgents’ response, there is a risk of seeing external military support gradually decreasing – SADC members have no funds. For example, Lesotho made it known last week that it will withdraw its troops from SAMIM before the end of the mission in March, being unable to even pay for its soldiers’ food. Lesotho is SAMIM’s fourth largest contributor, with 11% of soldiers, in addition to providing five aircraft for operations. Lesotho’s withdrawal from the mission would have a significant impact on the Nangade district, where they work alongside Mozambican and Tanzanian forces.

It is in this context that danger is at an all-time high in northern Mozambique, Opperman says: “Islamic State [IS] goes beyond opportunism. We are witnessing its institutionalization in Cabo Delgado. It’s a danger to ignore that. I think it’s time for counterforces, SAMIM, Rwanda and Mozambique, to sit down and see the threat they face, not only to Mozambique but also to the region.” For example, the attack on Meluco on January 28 was claimed by the Islamic State.

 


3. No Decision Yet Taken On EU Funding For Rwandan deployment

No decision has yet been taken on the request for the EU to fund the Rwandan deployment in Mozambique. The following statement was issued on 2 February 2022 by the EU-Press-Spokesperson at EEAS:

On EU support to Rwanda in Mozambique:

The European Union (EU) is strongly committed to stabilizing the security of the Central African Republic and Mozambique, as well as security in the rest of Africa, and has invested considerably politically and operationally to pursue this objective.

As such, the EU recognizes the considerable efforts made by Rwanda to contribute to stabilizing the security situation in Mozambique and the Central African Republic and seeks an effective operational and information exchange with the Rwandan armed forces deployed there.

The EU wishes to strengthen its cooperation with Rwanda, particularly in the area of security and defence, as recently announced by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Regarding the update on media reports on EU funding of Rwandan operations abroad, no decision has been taken to date.

On our mission in Mozambique:

EUTM Mozambique is a military training mission with a non-executive mandate, and as such, it is not involved in any military operation. The mission is not deployed in Cabo Delgado and it does not accompany the Mozambican Armed Forces in operations as this is not part of the mission’s mandate.

The mission is nevertheless mandated to set up a knowledge management cycle to track and follow the conduct of the trained units once they are deployed in Cabo Delgado and assess their compliance with agreed principles of international human rights and international humanitarian law. To this end, a dense network of contacts on the ground, including many NGOs and civil society actors, is available.

At mid-mandate, the Mission should undergo a strategic review. Our CSDP Missions/Operations are subject to a Strategic Review process that is regularly being conducted in order to inform EU Member States about progress achieved and to recommend a way forward, including possibly the revision of the mandate or the termination of the CSDP action. Any change on the mission’s mandate is decided by the Council.

At the end of the mandate, the activities of the Mission will be transferred to our Mozambican counterparts via a train-the-trainers programme.

After the visit of the head of European diplomacy, Joseph Borrell, to Mozambique failed at the end of January because of Covid-19, the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, is in Brussels at the invitation of the EU until 9 February. As usual, the details of his agenda are not known, but it is known that the reason for Borrell’s visit was the insurgency in Cabo Delgado. According to German analyst André Thomashausen, “what should be on the agenda is a discussion of Rwanda’s request to the European Union (EU) for financial support to be able to continue its military support mission in defending the security and combating Islamic terrorism in northern Mozambique in Cabo Delgado.” The academic believes that “this request obviously has to do with the very high costs of this operation, estimated at about a million dollars a day.”

Financial support and not only can mean closer ties between the EU and Rwanda on an exclusively Mozambican issue. “It’s just surprising that it’s not Mozambique asking for this support, but Rwanda directly,” Thomashausen says. The analyst believes that “the EU will probably simply want Filipe Nyusi to confirm that such support for the Rwandan mission will be welcomed by the Government of Mozambique and that Mozambique would like to continue with the presence of Rwandan soldiers from the approximately 2,500 Rwandan soldiers protecting Afunge, Total Energies’ gas exploration zone, which defends French interests and is therefore able to mobilise EU support.”

Today, in Africa, Rwanda is the EU’s “blue-eyed boy”. For example, Paul Kagame’s country is seen as one of the rare examples of development in Africa, welcomes European multinationals such as the German car factory Volkswagen and makes a significant contribution to the UN with blue helmets.

Is Mozambique capitalising on Rwanda’s “privileged” place with the EU for more substantial support? Manuel de Araújo, an expert on international relations and member of the largest opposition party, RENAMO, said: “I would be very happy if my country and our government were capitalizing on this position, but unfortunately it seems to me that our government has not even realized that it is possible to capitalize, and that makes me quite sad. Mozambique is not taking advantage of this positioning of Kagame, much less this Paris-Kigali axis.”

However, this image of public self-exclusion that Maputo lets show raises questions: why does Mozambique not take the lead in its own interests and destiny? Thomashausen suggests that “it would be more advisable for the country to ask for aid directly.” It would be better for Mozambique to take “a leading position in the fight against terrorism, because it is a question of sovereignty, state and security of state and territory, but in reality, Mozambique does not have the capacity to maintain the stable situation.”

 


4. AU Pledges Support

On 7 February 2022 the official communique of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) was published, after its meeting held on 31 January 2022 on the Deployment of the Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM). The AU offered support to SAMIM in the form of equipment from its continental logistical base in Doula and military aid donated by China. AU also appeals to the EU for technical and financial resources.

The communique reads as follows:

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:

1. Deplores the continued acts of terrorism in Cabo Delgado Province, adversely impacting the lives and livelihoods of innocent civilians, women and children, resulting in the displacement of the affected populations and destruction of infrastructure;

2. Endorses the deployment of the Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) from 15 July 2021, within the framework of the African Standby Force (ASF), to serve as a regional response to support the Republic of Mozambique to combat terrorism and acts of violent extremism, restore security and law and order in the affected areas in Cabo Delgado province, as well as provide humanitarian relief to those affected by terrorist activities, following approval by the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of SADC held in Mozambique on 23 June 2021, in accordance with the relevant provisions contained in the SADC Treaty and Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation,;

3. Also endorses the Communiqué of the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) held in Lilongwe, Malawi, on 12 January 2022, and welcomes the extension of the mandate of SAMIM for a further three months;

4. Commends the commitment by the Government of the Republic of Mozambique towards addressing the threat posed by terrorism and violent extremism in Cabo Delgado Province and other affected areas, and encourages the

Government to redouble its efforts towards comprehensively addressing the attendant structural drivers of conflict and extremism in the concerned areas, including through countering extremist ideology and blocking sources of funding for terrorist activities;

5. Specifically commends the collective leadership demonstrated by SADC in committing resources and deploying SAMIM, within the framework of ASF, as a peace-enforcement mission to neutralise the terrorist threat and restore state-authority in the affected districts in Cabo Delegado; therefore, applauds all the SADC Member States that have contributed contingents to form SAMIM, while paying tribute to those who have paid the ultimate price in defence of Mozambique’s territorial integrity and political unity, while expressing heartfelt condolences to the families and Governments of those who lost their lives in the pursuit of peace and stability for Mozambique;

6. Welcomes the contribution of forces by the Republic of Rwanda to complement the efforts of the Government of Mozambique, in countering terrorism and stabilising the affected region, based on the existing bilateral agreement between the two Member States, in the spirit of African solution to African problems; and to this effect, calls on AU and partners to continue to support the efforts of Rwanda in coordination with the SAMIM in Mozambique;

7. In this regard, requests the Commission to undertake the following in support of the Government of Mozambique and SAMIM:

i. intensify engagements with the Government of Mozambique, SADC and SAMIM, to enhance coordination in supporting efforts aimed at combating terrorism and violent extremism, and restoring security in affected areas;

ii. promptly provide SADC with the required equipment already identified at the Continental Logistics Base (CLB) in Douala, Cameroon, to support its efforts through SAMIM and ensure effective implementation of SAMIM’s mandate and tasks; and

iii. provide substantial additional equipment from the second batch of military aid being donated by the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the AU to support the efforts of SAMIM expected to be delivered directly to the Nakala Port in Mozambique during 2022;

8. Appeals to all Member States, as well as the United Nations (UN), EU and the broader international community to extend their support to SAMIM and Mozambique, through the provision of the requisite materials, technical and financial resources;

9. Directs the Commission, based on SAMIM requirements, to continue engaging with the EU to explore all options to facilitate the use of the Early Response Mechanism (ERM) as appropriate for its support to SAMIM;

10. Further directs the Commission to assist in mobilizing financial resources to support the building up of the operational capacity of the Mozambican Defense and Security Forces (FDS) in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism;

11. Requests the Commission and the SADC Secretariat to provide regular updates to the Council on progress in the implementation of SAMIM’s mandates to enable appropriate decisions and support as may be required;

12. Further requests the Chairperson of the AU Commission to transmit the communiqué to the UN Secretary-General, requesting that the said communiqué be circulated as an official UN Security Council document, as well as to share the same with other relevant international bodies; and

13. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.


5. US Renews Support

The United States, through its Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) programme, has launched a third exchange programme with Mozambique, in an effort to further hone the special operational skills that were transferred during the first two exchanges. The JCET programmer helps to provide foreign military and US Special Forces a chance to teach, train and exchange best practice with foreign troops. US Ambassador to Mozambique, Dennis W Hearne says “As a strategic partner, the United States is committed to ensuring our military-to-military engagements continue during such an important moment for Mozambique’s national security; military exchanges like these are important for the security and prosperity of Mozambique and the region.”

Stay Up-To-Date!