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EU Foreign Affairs Council on Defense to convene


EU Foreign Affairs Council on Defense to convene

Photo: AFP

EU High Representative Josep Borrell will brief bloc Defense Ministers today on recent military developments in the Sahel, Ukraine, Libya and Mozambique.

The situation in Mozambique is particularly relevant to today’s discussions. Despite Maputo’s intensive counter-insurgency operations, the Islamic insurgency group Ansar al-Sunna has grown more powerful, particularly in Cabo Delgado province. The militia has escalated its attacks on civilians and government facilities. More than 2,600 people have been killed and 700,000 individuals displaced from the province since 2017. In addition to humanitarian concerns, the EU holds significant oil and gas investments in the region, with French conglomerate Total currently constructing a $20 billion gas refinery in northern Mozambique.

Last October, Brussels provided Maputo with technical assistance and medical services, yet several ministers including Portugal’s Foreign Minister Santos Silva are calling for closer security cooperation by training local military forces.

Expect the EU to authorize military training assistance and further humanitarian aid for Mozambique to stabilize the region. However, chances of military intervention are slim due to the EU’s lack of commitment in staging direct action. This is evidenced by the failures of European involvement in the G5 Sahel taskforce to address root causes of political grievances and deliver reconciliation.

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Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

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