Massive military funding boost for SAMIM

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Financial support to the tune of 15 million Euros (R260 million plus) will see the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) boost equipment and infrastructure levels.

The support from the European Peace Facility (EPF) will provide the military component of SAMIM with camp fortifications and storage containers, medical equipment, vehicles and boats, as well as technological devices. All is for use at company level.

A European Council (EC) statement states “this strand of PF support is complementary to ongoing assistance of 89 million Euros to the Mozambican Armed Forces agreed so far, which provides equipment and supplies – not designed to deliver lethal force – to Mozambican military units trained by the EU Training Mission in Mozambique”.

“The decision complements EU support for SAMIM peacebuilding activities, totalling 1.9 million Euros for March-September 2022. This support is provided under the African Peace Facility and focuses on capacity building of police and correctional service officers, women and youth empowerment as well as dialogue with civic leaders tailored toward good governance and the rule of law.

“In providing this support, the EU joins Mozambican and international efforts to restore peace, safety and security in the north of Mozambique, protect the civilian population and allow for the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs), accountable law enforcement, state structures and services.”

Funding for the military component of SAMIM is, according to the statement, “in line with the EU integrated approach to the crisis in Cabo Delgado, EPF funding for SAMIM’s military component is part of a comprehensive package of EU support, which includes peacebuilding, development and humanitarian actions”.

“Financing for the SAMIM military component is the third action under the new assistance measure in support of African-led peace support operations (PSOs) worth 600 million Euros under the EPF for 2022 to 2024.

“Using this measure, the African Union (AU) can request support for individual PSOs as needs arise, allowing for quick response to security developments on the continent.”

The announcement of extra funding comes as violence spikes again in northern Mozambique. On Tiuesday at least six people were beheaded and an Italian nun killed by insurgents in Mozambique’s Nampula province.

President Filipe Nyusi said insurgents unleashed a killing spree as they fled from soldiers from Mozambique, Rwanda and the SADC sent to tackle the violence.

“On 6 September, as a result of terrorist attacks, six citizens were beheaded, three kidnapped, six terrorists were captured and dozens of houses torched in Erati and Memba districts of Nampula province,” Nyusi said.

According to media reports, confirmed by Nampula province Secretary of State Mety Gondola, an 83-year-old Italian nun, who lived in Nacala, was shot in an attack on Tuesday night, while two other missionaries managed to escape.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the killing of four Christians including an Italian nun during a raid on a village in the Nampula province on 6 September, the militant group said. The group claimed its members burnt a church, several buildings and two vehicles alongside properties linked to a Christian mission.