Katembe, Mozambique, 09.09.2022
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Ministro da Defesa Nacional, General [Cristóvão Artur] Chume, Excelência Chefe do Estado-Maior das Forças Armadas, Almirante [Joaquim Rivas] Mangrasse. Embaixadores, senhoras e senhores.
Estou contento e feliz de estar aqui e expressar pessoalmente o meu compromisso e o compromisso da União Europeia, a nossa solidariedade com a luta contra o terrorismo em Moçambique. A vossa luta é também a nossa.
Allow me to start with some sentences that I saw written on the wall of this [EU] training centre [in Katembe], some words of Presidente [de Moçambique] Samora Machel: “Educar o homem para vencer a guerra, criar uma sociedade nova e desenvolver a pátria”.
Sim, these are the purposes – “Educar o homem para vencer a guerra”, but first and foremost, the most important purpose is “criar uma sociedade nova e desenvolver a pátria”.
I think that these words are important to remember, because the fight in Cabo Delgado against terrorism is not just a military endeavour. It is a military endeavour and it has to be won by military means. That is why we support training the Mozambican army, but it is a fight that also has economic, socio-economic and civilian dimensions.
To win this kind of war, we need to also win peace. And we have to go hand-in-hand; the military capacities and the civilian and economic development. There is no development without peace, but there is no peace without development.
We have to work for the two objectives. But here we are in a military training camp. Here, we take care of the military capabilities of the Mozambican army. And we are doing that in a very tense geopolitical context. We have a lot of difficulties in Europe too, but I wanted to be here and to witness in person the handover of equipment funded by the European Union, thanks to a new instrument [the European Peace Facility] that allows us, not only to train, but to support with material the troops that we are helping to train. And I wanted to show that despite [the fact] that we are facing the worst threat to our security since the end of World War II, we do not forget about the crises in other parts of the world.
We do not forget that countries like Mozambique, which is an important partner for the European Union, they are facing also their own security challenges. And it is our duty, our honour and our interest to support you in facing these challenges.
We are not doing that just [out of] generosity. We are doing that because it is in our interest, because a peaceful, secure and prosperous Mozambique will make an important contribution to the security, the peace and prosperity of the whole world – and also to ours.
I want to stress the fact that Mozambique is the first country that is receiving a new form of integrated support, combining training – and we have been at a very interesting example of how these troops are been trained – and the equipment that allows these units to go to the fight using the training that they have received, but also the material – non-lethal material for the time being – that allows them to fight in better conditions.
It will allow us to support the Mozambican troops in a sustainable way. With one objective: to enable Mozambique to handle security concerns without external support in the future. We want Mozambique to be able to solve its own problems. We want African people to be able to look for African solutions to their problems.
We support you, dear Minister, dear Admiral, with both humility and enthusiasm. We want to provide you with our expertise and our capacities. But we want to do that always in agreement with you, knowing that in the end it is your troops who will go to the fight. It is you who will be facing the war. It is you who will be having casualties.
We do that with a lot of humility, because we know how difficult it is to face a war. We know that Mozambique has been suffering many long years of war. And now, it has embarked on a path to prosperity, security and economic and political wellbeing.
We know that it is not only us, Europeans, who are supporting you. We know that there are also the efforts done by the SADC [Southern African Development Community SADC] troops and also by the Rwandan troops. And they will too receive our financial support, because we know that they need it. And I am happy to say that just a couple of days ago, in Brussels, a [EU] political body agreed on allowing financial support to the SADC mission in Mozambique (SAMIM). And soon, I hope, the Rwandan troops will also receive this support.
This is an occasion for me to participate in the hand-over of the first delivery of the European Union-funded equipment. You see these 4×4 pickup trucks, several items of individual equipment for the soldiers. It does not look so evident that to go fighting in the jungle, you need to have special boots, special combat belts, heating protectors, ballistic goggles, sleeping bags and mats.
They are absolutely necessary. And this is only the beginning – more deliveries will follow. Next week, they will continue coming, not only trucks, but also barques in order to be able to fight in the rivers and in the sea.
They will be coming in the next month, but I had the opportunity of being here to accompany the Minister and the Admiral on the first hand-over of this equipment.
I want to insist on the idea that our support is based on an integrated approach, encompassing humanitarian, development, peace-building and security actions with respect to human rights and international humanitarian law – which are the core of our activities. And I am happy to see that this approach is also at the heart of the recently approved PREDIN [Northern Mozambique Resilience and Integrated Development Programme] government programme.
Yes, I think that the words of President Machel, which were written on the walls of this training centre, represent very well the spirit that Europeans have in mind when coming to Mozambique.
You need to win a war, but you want to win a war in order to build “a nova pátria”, to “desenvolver a pátria”.
This is a way of saying more or less everything that I have been trying to explain: an integrated approach to the war and to the peace.
Good luck to the Mozambican soldiers, good luck to you, Minister, and to you, Admiral, in your fight.
Link to the video (starting as of 4:35): https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-229453
Source – EEAS