Portugal is to train Mozambican troops in an agreement aimed at boosting ongoing fight against an Islamist insurgency in the north of the southern African country.
The agreement was signed in Lisbon on Monday by Mozambican Defence Minister Jaime Neto and his Portuguese counterpart João Gomes Cravinho.
The training is part of a five-year plan that will see Portugal increase its number of troops in Mozambique to 80 to train Mozambican soldiers, share intelligence and help the country use drones to track the militants’ movements.
The European Union (EU) could also send between 200 and 300 soldiers to Mozambique on a training mission, the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said in an interview with Portugal’s Radio Ranancenca published on Monday.
Recent attacks by jihadists on the coastal town of Palma have led to deaths and triggered an exodus that included workers on a liquefied natural gas project, led by the French oil and energy company, Total.
Insurgents have been carrying out intermittent attacks against some districts of Cabo Delgado province, some of them close to the border Tanzania since late 2017.