EU Boosts Military Support to Mozambique, Home to Africa’s Third Largest Gas Reserves

The European Union announced its intention on Thursday to provide additional support for an African military mission in Mozambique against Islamist attacks that threaten Africa’s third largest gas reserves, crucial for Europe to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. The EU has been looking for alternative gas supplies since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 and Mozambique’s 100 trillion cubic feet of proven reserves are considered an important source by the bloc.

Mozambique has been struggling with militants linked to Islamic State in its northern gas rich province of Cabo Delgado since 2017. The attacks are close to LNG projects worth billions of dollars developed by Western firms, including France’s TotalEnergies and Italy’s ENI

The EU said member countries have agreed to provide €15 million to the South African Development Community (SADC) mission to Mozambique, which has been fighting the militants.

Despite efforts by SADC and a separate mission by Rwandan troops, the EU still describes the situation in Mozambique as “very volatile”.

The EU announced its financial support just a day after Mozambique said seven people were killed by insurgents in the northern Nampula province.

The €15 million funds will come in addition to a €1.9 million already provided to SADC and €89 million to Mozambique’s armed forces.

The EU said in a statement that the additional funds will be used to acquire camp fortifications and storage containers, medical equipment, vehicles and boats, as well as technological devices.

The EU had also said support would be limited to non-lethal equipment. A support for the Rwandan mission in the country will also be proposed in the coming months.

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