US concludes training of Mozambican soldiers as it delivers aid in response to insecurity


The United States has concluded a Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) training exercise with Mozambican forces and announced the donation of humanitarian supplies to assist 20 000 families displaced by insecurity in Mozambique. Further training will take place in July.

The US Embassy in Mozambique on 5 May said Ambassador Dennis W Hearne and Mozambican Minister of Defence Jaime Neto commemorated in Maputo the conclusion of the JCET exercise. “Twenty years since the last JCET exercise in Mozambique, this training programme represents the strengthening relationship between the United States of America and the Republic of Mozambique,” the Embassy said.

“As I witnessed the impressive battlefield skills during a demonstration at the training facility, I was proud of the work our countrymen were able to accomplish together,” said Hearne.

US Special Operations Forces trained Mozambican marines for two months on tactical skills, combat casualty care, marksmanship, and executing a mission while avoiding damage to civilians and property.

“This training exercise reflects the United States Government’s commitment to support the Government of Mozambique’s efforts to defeat ISIS with a holistic strategy that includes socio-economic development, community resilience programmes, and security assistance. The United States prioritizes the respect for human rights, protection of civilians, and engagement with civil society in all components of US security assistance. They are foundational to effectively counter the Islamic State in Mozambique. A second JCET training exercise is expected in July 2021,” the Embassy said.

On 6 May, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said that through its Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, it is providing humanitarian relief supplies to help meet the urgent needs of people displaced from their homes. These humanitarian supplies will provide approximately 20 000 displaced families with 2 000 rolls of plastic sheeting, 8 000 shelter kits, and blankets and kitchen sets to help them rebuild.

“The United States is working with the Government of Mozambique, international organizations, civil society organizations, and the private sector to increase our humanitarian assistance to those in need of food, water, and shelter, among other emergency relief items, in response to the devastating violence by ISIS-Mozambique in Cabo Delgado province,” USAID said.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled fighting in Cabo Delgado, where ISIS-affiliated terrorists brutally killed, maimed, and abducted civilians, destroyed infrastructure, and displaced more than 700 000 people.

The United States, through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, is providing $700 000 in new Fiscal Year 2021 humanitarian assistance to help the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) provide shelter, blankets and mattresses, and mental health and psychosocial support for many of the 28 000 newly displaced people following the Palma attacks.

This aid adds to the more than $82 million in humanitarian assistance that the United States has provided for the crisis response in Mozambique in Fiscal Year 2020, including in Cabo Delgado. The Fiscal Year 2020 assistance provided food, household items, shelter, and hygiene kits for approximately 250 000 displaced Mozambicans in Cabo Delgado and neighbouring Nampula and Niassa provinces. It also supported restoration of national identity documents to the displaced, prevention and response to gender-based violence, and responses to those with special needs including the elderly and unaccompanied children. US funding also supported logistical operations of the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) to transport relief supplies and humanitarian workers by air, sea, and ground to reach Mozambicans in need.

The US said it remains extremely concerned about the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation and urges other donors to step up to provide much needed support to save lives.