The United States is committed to supporting the Government of Mozambique to counter the rise in terrorism and violent extremism that has been afflicting Cabo Delgado province, according to Ambassador Andrew Young, Deputy Commander for Civil-Military Engagement, US Africa Command.
Speaking during a telephonic press briefing on 22 June, Young said the US strategy towards supporting Mozambique includes socioeconomic development, community resistance programmes, and security assistance.
“Our strategy is also one that is holistic to promote efforts to respond to this rise in terrorism by, with, and through the partners,” he said. “We try to work with the host nation to develop an appropriate response. We try to work with regional partners, and I appreciate that the Southern African Development Community is looking at questions of insecurity and instability in Mozambique. We try to work with international partners, and I know that our international partner Portugal has sent in some assistance to help develop a national response to the insecurity in Mozambique.”
Lieutenant General Kirk Smith, Deputy Commander, US Africa Command, added that the United States is continuing to monitor the situation in Mozambique. “We did just complete with a press release from the embassy in Mozambique a training exercise there with some Special Operations forces working with Mozambiquan marines to kind of get a sense of how we can potentially understand the situation better.”
Young said that the prosperity on the African continent is a US national security objective. “We need to best understand and address root causes that contribute to the insecurity on the African continent and advance governance issues as well so that we help create the conditions for long-term stability on the continent.
“As we engage on African partnership and strategy, we do so with the diplomatic – through the diplomatic lens, we do so through the defence lens, and we also do so through the developmental lens. So our command includes a senior USAID representative to ensure that as we develop strategies, as we work with partnerships, we bring all those elements together to address the challenges on the African continent.
“Our motto in Africom and our philosophy is to work by, with, and through our partners, be they our African partners on the continent, our regional partners, and our international partners. In working with these partners, we look – we hope to – we work to advance, as I said, the national security of our partnerships and also the prosperity of the African continent.”