The European Union began a military training mission in Mozambique on Wednesday to help local armed forces fight jihadists who have been wreaking havoc in the gas-rich northeast for four years, the Mozambican military said.
The EU sent 1,100 soldiers in September to train rapid intervention units for two years. The EU will also provide non-lethal weapons.
According to the head of the Mozambican armed forces, "The soldiers trained here will be able to go on missions,"
Armed jihadist groups have been wreaking havoc since late 2017 in the poor, Muslim-majority province of Cabo Delgado, which borders Tanzania but has natural gas-rich subsoils. The violence has already left at least 3,340 people dead and forced more than 800,000 people from their homes.
Portugal and the United States also sent Special Forces on a training mission earlier this year. In total, more than 3,100 African, European and American troops have been deployed in Cabo Delgado province.
Rwanda was the first African country to send troops in July.
The 16 countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) decided in early October to extend the mission of a regional force deployed since July-August in the region and which was to end on 15 October.
The Rwandan forces claimed their first successes in early August, saying in particular that they had taken back the strategic port of Mocimboa da Praia from the insurgents.