At least 24 countries have sent soldiers to support Mozambique in its fight against insurgents in northern Cabo Delgado province.
The discovery of 7,000 “ghost soldiers” in the ranks of a poorly paid and badly trained army underline why Mozambique needs help.
The Carta de Moçambique daily newspaper discovered many of the salaries of fake soldiers were paid to senior defence officials, and that there are a growing number of children of former officers and politicians who receive salaries without ever having been in military training, let alone setting foot in a military unit.
More than 2,000 well trained Rwandan troops were sufficient to largely take control of the two coastal districts, Palma and Mocimboa da Praia, near giant gas fields. Despite their successes, Mozambique’s civil war rumbles on.
The big struggles now are political – about money, the causes of the war, who can fight, and if the gas project can resume.
Cabo Delgado is Mozambique’s resource-curse province, with gas, rubies, graphite, gold and other natural resources.