Santos Silva discusses Mozambique support options with EU

  • Lusa
  • 9 September 2020

During a trip to Brussels concluded on Tuesday, Portugal's foreign minister has said that he discussed with the head of European Union diplomacy in Brussels the worrying situation in Mozambique.

Portugal’s foreign minister has said that he discussed with the head of European Union diplomacy in Brussels the worrying situation in northern Mozambique, both of which examined options for additional support for the Mozambican authorities and people.

During a two-day trip to Brussels concluded on Tuesday, Augusto Santos Silva met with Josep Borrell to prepare the future Portuguese presidency of the EU Council in the first half of next year, but also discussed some current issues, one of which was the situation in northern Mozambique, particularly in the province of Cabo Delgado.

Pointing out that European solidarity with the authorities and with the Mozambican people, so afflicted by the terrorist and jihadist insurgency, offers no doubts,” Santos Silva, who was speaking to the Portuguese press in Brussels, refrained from revealing details of the conversation held with the High Representative but said that they were examining options for this solidarity to be materialised in more support.

“In the current conditions, I must say no more. We will see. What I wanted to say is that the situation in northern Mozambique is obviously of concern to Portugal and deserves Portugal’s attention, but it also deserves the EU’s attention. And given that Portugal is taking over the presidency of the EU Council, nothing else is expected but greater attention to this problem, among the many that the EU has to deal with,” he said.

On Monday, Mozambican president, Filipe Nyusi, considered the armed groups that carry out attacks in the north of the country a threat to national independence, defending the country’s unity against violence in the region.

“The terrorism that affects some districts in the north of Cabo Delgado is a threat to the gains of 1 September,” Nyusi said in a statement to the nation.

Nyusi made the statement on the occasion of the 46th anniversary of the Lusaka Accords, signed on 7 September 1974 by the Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo), the current ruling party, and the Portuguese government to establish the conditions for the declaration of independence of Mozambique on 25 June 1975.

Nyusi said that the action of the armed groups operating in the province of Cabo Delgado undermines the freedoms gained with the signing of the Lusaka Agreements.

Cabo Delgado province has been the target of attacks by armed groups since October 2017, which have already caused the death of at least 1,059 people in almost three years, in addition to the destruction of various infrastructures.

According to the United Nations, the armed violence has led to the flight of 250,000 people from insecure districts further north in the province.

Several international entities have classified the attacks as a terrorist threat and some of the actions have been claimed by the extremist Islamic State group.