Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Does not want foreign boots on Mozambican soil

France, Portugal and Italy are not the only ones who pay attention to the conflict in northern Mozambique, Africa Intelligence reported on Monday (October 19). According to the same source, "other members of the European Union, including Germany, are increasingly interested in Maputo, both offering their good offices and taking advantage of economic opportunities".

It was only after a month of internal negotiations between the member states of the European Union that the bloc's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, responded to the request for help from the Mozambican foreign minister, Verónica Macamo, to deal with the security crisis in Cabo Delgado. By responding positively to calls for help in three areas (army training, military logistics and management of displaced populations) on October 9, Borrell was toeing the line taken by France, Italy and Portugal, who are interested in protecting their investments in gas. But two unexpected countries also supported Mozambique's request for aid: Sweden and, most importantly, Germany.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked her influential ambassador to Brussels, Michael Clauss, to work behind the scenes to express Berlin's interest in Mozambique. The Germany Africa Business Forum is organizing a trip by a delegation of German businessmen to Pemba, capital of Cabo Delgado, on March 8 and 9, 2021. The head of the forum, Sebastian Wagner, must take his countrymen to Mozambique Gas and Energy 2021, an event scheduled to be attended by a wide range of industry players.

The details of the EU assistance agreement have not yet been clarified, but President Filipe Nyusi does not want to see foreign boots on Mozambican soil. However, Macamo expects the logistical component of the agreement to include, if not real armaments, at least military equipment.

Paris is moving forward on its maritime security cooperation project with Maputo - Nyusi has finally chosen Washington to provide satellite intelligence. But the great French Total is very active in protecting the assets of its vast Mozambican LNG project against insurgents and drug traffickers. Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné personally took charge of the security agreement between his company and Maputo. Nyusi, who until now led the Mozambican side of the task force, has just delegated the file to its energy and defense ministers Max Tonela and Jaime Neto.

Source: Intelligence from Africa


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