Angela Merkel Makes A Surprised Entry into The European Union’s Talks On Cabo Delgado
The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel has made a surprised entry into the European Union’s talks on Cabo Delgado, a province in Mozambique undergoing an insurgent conflict.
France, Portugal, and Italy are not the only ones paying attention to the conflict in that is slowly smouldering in northern Mozambique, with the potential of spill overs.
Other members of the European Union as well, chief among them Germany, are increasingly interested in Maputo, both by offering their good offices as a passage way for assistance to the government, and also equally as a corridor through which new economic opportunities can be harnessed.
Internal negotiations has been on going for about a month now behind closed doors,
between European Union member states during which, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell answered Mozambican foreign minister Veronica Macamo’s request for assistance in dealing with the security crisis in Cabo Delgado.
A conflict which seems to be spiralling out of control at the moment.
In providing a positive response to the appeals for help in three areas (training the army, military logistics, and managing displaced populations) on 9 October, Borrell was toeing the line taken by France, Italy and Portugal, which are keen to protect their gas investments.
But two unexpected countries also backed Mozambique’s plea for help: Sweden, and more importantly, Germany.
Military Aid, Economic Cooperation
German chancellor Angela Merkel has asked her influential ambassador in Brussels, Michael Clauss, to work behind the scenes to express Berlin’s interest in Mozambique.
The Germany Africa Business Forum is organising a trip by a delegation of German entrepreneurs to Pemba, the capital of Cabo Delgado, on 8 and 9 March 2021.
The forum’s boss, Sebastian Wagner, is due to take his compatriots to Mozambique Gas and Power 2021, an event set to be attended by a wide range of industry players.
Details of the EU assistance agreement have yet to be clarified, but president Filipe Nyusi does not want to see foreign boots on Mozambican soil. However, Macamo hopes that the logistical component of the agreement will include, if not actual armaments, at least military equipment.
Pouyanné in Play
Paris is inching ahead on its maritime security cooperation project with Maputo – Nyusi finally chose Washington to supply satellite intelligence. But French major Total is very active in protecting the assets of its vast Mozambique LNG project against insurgents and drug traffickers.
Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné has personally taken charge of the security deal between his company and Maputo. Nyusi, who until now was leading the Mozambican side of the task force, has just delegated the file to his ministers of energy and defence Max Tonela and Jaime Neto.