At the farewell ceremony, at Figo Maduro Airport, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said that it is not "one or 10 cases" that might happen that will undermine the reputation of the military in what is the tenth mission in CAR, in reference to the case of "Operation Myriad".
The President of the Republic also defined the military in "three very simple words": "You are the pride of Portugal".
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa also said that he should return to the Central African Republic in the spring of 2022, noting that the Portuguese military forces are in the African country for three reasons.
“The first reason is called peace building, which is inseparable from an equally humanitarian mission. Peace, social stability, support to populations, especially the most needy, children, women, the elderly, the most dependent in a climate of conflict”, he observed.
In addition to referring to “Operation Myriad”, the President of the Republic also did not forget the migration crisis, saying that the borders of Europe begin in Africa.
“The borders of Portugal start in Africa, these days the borders of Europe start in Africa, many Europeans took a long time to realize that. They thought that the borders began in the Atlantic [Ocean] or the Mediterranean [Sea], or at most in North Africa, and they did not notice the migrations that are advancing rapidly from central Africa to North Africa and from Africa to Europe", he warned.
On November 8, the Judiciary Police (PJ) confirmed the execution of 100 search warrants and 10 arrests, including those of members of the military and ex-military, under Operation Myriad, following an inquiry conducted by the Department of Investigation and Criminal Action of Lisbon.
At issue is the investigation of a criminal network with international connections and which "dedicates itself to obtaining illicit profits through the smuggling of diamonds and gold, drug trafficking, counterfeiting and the passage of counterfeit currency, illegitimate access and computer fraud".
In a statement, the General Staff of the Armed Forces (EMGFA) revealed that some military and Portuguese on missions in the Central African Republic may have been used as "couriers" in diamond trafficking, adding that the case was reported in December 2019.