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EU Escalates Military Support To Gas-Rich Mozambique Amid Energy Crisis

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The European Union said on Thursday, it would provide additional support to an African military mission in Mozambique. This comes as Islamist attacks threaten gas projects which reduce the Union’s reliance on Russian energy.

The EU is actively looking for alternative sources of energy since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Mozambique has the third largest proven gas reserves in African continent.

But the African country has been in conflict with militants linked to Islamic State in its northernmost gas-rich province of Cabo Delgado since 2017. According to Reuters, the conflict is near liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects worth billions of dollars developed by Western firms, including France’s Total.

Confirming a Reuters report in August, the EU said governments agreed to give 15 million euros ($15 million) to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission to Mozambique (SAMIM), which is fighting the insurgency.

In an internal report accessed by Reuters, the EU had warned of a “very volatile” situation in north Mozambique despite the SADC mission and a separate intervention by troops from Rwanda managing to contain the militants.

The financial support was granted a day after Mozambique claimed that at least six people were beheaded and an Italian nun murdered by Islamists in northern Nampula province.

EU has already provided 1.9 million to SAMIM and 89 million euros for the Mozambican armed forces. These funds will be an addition to earlier grants.

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 statement said.

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