/ 17 February 2022

Mozambique’s jet-setting president locks down support for countering the insurgency

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi is set to be grilled in Washington over the alleged uncontrolled logging of forests
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has flown to Addis Ababa for a meeting with the African Union and to Brussels for a meeting with the European Union.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi had little time to celebrate his birthday on Tuesday; he was flying around the world making deals to keep the counter-insurgency show in Cabo Delgado province on the road.

His diplomatic whirlwind began late last month when he hosted the chief executive of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanné, who promised to resume gas production once the security situation had been resolved.

There are billions of dollars at stake for Mozambique, which is relying on a gas bonanza to finance future development and to pay off existing debt, much of which was acquired as a result of corruption.

With the Mozambican army having failed to contain the conflict, Nyusi’s best bet is to make sure that the Rwandan and Southern African military interventions keep their boots on the ground.

To that end, Nyusi commemorated Mozambican Heroes’ Day in Mueda in Cabo Delgado with President Cyril Ramaphosa as the guest of honour. From there, Nyusi flew to Addis Ababa for the African Union conference. Days earlier, the AU’s Peace and Security Council had adopted a resolution praising the contributions of the Southern African Development Community and Rwanda, which has also sent troops, and calling on AU members and other “partners” to support those missions.

The AU hailed Rwanda’s support in particular as an “African solution to African problems”, although it does require external funding to continue. Rwanda has asked the European Union to finance the mission.

To help that request along, Nyusi set off for Brussels for a meeting with the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell. From there, he flew to Kigali for an audience with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who had just signed a “collaboration agreement” with TotalEnergies chief executive, Pouyanné. That afternoon, he flew to Beira to meet Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

This article first appeared in The Continent, the award-winning pan-African weekly newspaper designed to be read and shared on WhatsApp. Download your free copy here.