Lisbon | Portugal will send around sixty soldiers to Mozambique in the coming weeks after an attack claimed by the Islamic State group in Palma, a city in the north of the country, Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said on Monday evening.
“A team of around 60 Portuguese soldiers is in the process of preparing (…) it will be sent in the coming weeks on the ground in Mozambique”, declared Mr. Santos Silva during an interview granted to public television. Portuguese RTP.
“It will support the Mozambican army in the training of special forces,” he said.
Palma, a small port in northern Mozambique, fell to jihadist commandos after an attack last week claimed by ISIS on Monday.
This attack took place just 10 km from a multibillion-euro gas megaproject piloted by the French group Total.
IS also claimed responsibility for the deaths of dozens of soldiers “and Christians, including nationals of Crusader states”.
The Mozambican government announced on Sunday that the attack in Palma had resulted in dozens of deaths.
The UN, which “strongly condemns the attacks”, said on Monday “deeply concerned about the still evolving situation in Palma”. While Washington said it was “determined” to assist the Mozambican government, without specifying how.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Monday that the Portuguese government was following the situation in Mozambique “with great concern from the start and continuously, through the Foreign and Defense Ministers”.
Mozambique, a former colony of Portugal, became independent in 1975.