“The goal of this mission is to train and support the Mozambican Armed Forces in protecting the population and restoring security in Cabo Delgado province”, reads a statement published by the Council of the European Union (EU).

In the note, published a few minutes after the start of the Foreign Affairs Council, which is taking place on 12 July in Brussels and which brings together all the heads of European diplomacy, it is also indicated that the “mission mandate will last, initially, two years”.

“During this period, its strategic objective will be to support the capacity building of the Mozambican Armed Forces units that will form part of a future rapid reaction force”, the note reads.

To that end, the mission will provide “military training, including operational preparation, specialized training in counterterrorism, and training and education in the protection of civilians, respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law”.

Entitled EUTM Mozambique, the mission will be led in the field by the Portuguese Army Brigadier General Nuno Lemos Pires, a “citizen of Portuguese nationality with over 38 years of experience in command positions, including in international missions”.

The mission commander will be the European Union Military Planning and Conduct Capability Director, Vice Admiral Hervé Bléjean.

According to the Council of the EU, the military training mission was approved in response to the request of the Mozambican authorities who called for an “involvement” of the EU in “the areas of peace and security”.

Armed groups have terrorized Cabo Delgado since 2017, with some attacks claimed by the jihadist group Islamic State, in a wave of violence that has already caused more than 2,800 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project, and 732,000 displaced people, according to the UN.