No longer needed EU equipment gifted to Mozambican military

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Part of the work-up to the mid-July conclusion of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) has seen Mozambique’s armed forces (FADM – Forcas Armadas de Defesa de Mocambique) benefit in the form of European Union (EU) donated equipment deemed surplus to requirements.

The new additions to the FADM inventory – boats, vehicles and refrigerated containers – will be put into service in Cabo Delgado, the focus area of efforts by the regional bloc mission aided by Mozambican and Rwandan troops to curb ASWJ (Al Sunnah Wal Jamaah) attacks and terrorism.

SAMIM leadership handed over the EU-supplied equipment to the FADM during a ceremony on 18 April.

FADM Brigadier TE Paumbele is reported by Staff Sergeant Charles Magalie from SAMIM Public Information Operations as saying the additional equipment will be utilised in missions “with the emphasis on the fight against terrorism in Cab Delgado”. The equipment will be allocated to FADM sub-units in what is termed the northern operational theatre.

Apart from being an equipment supplier to the regional bloc mission, the EU assists President Felipe Nyusi’s armed forces by way of training under the banner of EUTM Moz (EU training mission Mozambique).

EUTM Moz has five months to go before its two-year mandate ends in September with its future currently the subject of a strategic review.

In response to a defenceWeb inquiry, EU media liaison said the review to determine the future of EUTM Mozambique was underway “in the light of identified Mozambican needs”.

“This is the usual procedure. All EU CSDP (Common Security and Defence Policy) missions and operations are subject to strategic review processes that are regularly conducted to inform EU member states about the progress achieved and to recommend the way forward, including possibly the revision of the mandate or the termination of the CSDP action.

“Any change in the Mission’s mandate is up to member states’ decision at the Council. Since discussions are currently ongoing and they are confidential, we are not able to comment further at this stage,” this publication was informed.

EUTM Moz is a military training mission providing training and support to the Mozambican armed forces to protect the civilian population and restore security in the Cabo Delgado province. The mission has a non-executive mandate and will end two years after the mission has reached full operational capability.

“EUTM Mozambique will be one of the tools to address the crisis in Cabo Delgado, in conjunction with support for peacebuilding, conflict prevention and dialogue support, humanitarian assistance and development co-operation,” the mission says of itself.

Military training to equip FADM troops for quick reaction force (QRF) operations is done at three camps – Dongo, Katembe and Mavalane. Command post exercises (CPXs), offensive, defensive and enabling operations as well as administrative, logistic and tactical deployment along with close air support are on the training curriculum.

Meanwhile, South African National Defence Force (SANDF) troops continue to withdraw from Mozambique, and held a farewell parade on 7 April. At the time they were the second troop contributing country (TCC) to SAMIM to leave following Botswana.

SANDF soldiers preparing to leave Mozambique.

The SANDF’s SAMIM mandate ended on 15 April, and to cover the withdrawal, SANDF Commander-in-Chief, President Cyril Ramaphosa, mid-month added seven months to the deployment, which now runs from 16 April to 31 December this year.

The 1 495 strong South African deployment, with the SA Army Infantry Formation providing the bulk, was supported by engineering and logistic personnel with SA Air Force (SAAF) and SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) on active duty for the then three-year lifespan of the mission.

The SAMIM mission is slated to wrap up in July, when Rwandan troops will essentially take over under a bilateral agreement with Mozambique.