Military Review

Will the Russian military return to Mozambique?

The time has come for political contacts and economic contracts and the expansion of Russia's military presence on the African continent. From sale weapons to African countries, which did not stop even in the first two post-Soviet decades, the Russian Federation is moving to a more tangible military-political presence.

Why Russia is again active in Africa

At one time, the Soviet Union made a huge contribution to the political history of the entire African continent, unequivocally taking the side of almost all anti-colonial movements and providing comprehensive assistance to dozens of African states freed from colonial dependence. From Egypt and Algeria to Zimbabwe and Namibia - everywhere the trace of the Soviet presence was very noticeable.

The collapse of the USSR and the political and economic perturbations taking place in the life of post-Soviet Russia for several decades weakened Moscow’s attention to the African continent. In the nineties and even zero Russia was not up to Africa. The only line along which contacts were still very developed is the supply of weapons and military equipment. Until now, African countries are important buyers of Russian weapons, attractive, first of all, for their significantly cheaper cost compared to weapons made in America or Europe.

Now Russia is more and more actively designating its foreign policy and is striving to at least partially regain the positions lost after the collapse of the USSR. The African continent attracts Moscow with its economic potential. Africa is a real storehouse of minerals, and far from all of the deposits are exploited and even explored. Mining is one of the first reasons for the growing interest of both Russian companies and the authorities in Africa.

The second reason is the development of foreign trade relations. Africa is a very promising buyer of Russian products, and not just weapons. At the same time, under the conditions of sanctions, African countries can also act as suppliers of agricultural products, replacing those European countries with which Russia has noticeably worsened relations since the spring of 2014.

Finally, the third reason is geopolitical rivalry with the United States. If you do not claim your presence in Africa, the continent will be under the control of the Americans. But not all African regimes are now in good relations with the United States. And Moscow places emphasis on this factor, developing political and military ties with the governments of a number of African states.

At present, Russia is most actively developing military cooperation with the Central African Republic, Sudan, Egypt, but positions are gradually returning to the former Portuguese colonies, with which the USSR maintained very close ties. Thus, cooperation with Mozambique has great prospects.

Mozambique's gas and blood

In the spring of 2018, Russian Minister of Defense Army General Sergei Shoigu signed an agreement with the Mozambique Minister of Defense, Major General Atanaziu Salvador Mtumuke, on a simplified procedure for the entry of Russian warships into Mozambique ports. Analysts call this agreement the first step towards creating a permanent Russian naval base in a distant country in the south of the African continent. Moreover, the Mozambique authorities express interest in the presence of the Russian military.

The Soviet Union had a special relationship with Mozambique. Not for nothing that even the Kalashnikov rifle is depicted on the coat of arms of this country. In the 1960-1970-years of the USSR provided great support to the colonies of Portugal, fighting for their independence. Moscow made a very serious contribution to ensure that Mozambique, Angola, and Guinea-Bissau become sovereign states.

The rebel movements operating "under the roof" of Moscow received weapons, military equipment, money, information support from the Soviet Union, and in the Soviet military educational institutions they trained future commanders, engineers, political workers for partisan fronts, which, after the declaration of independence of the former colonies, became armed forces of the sovereign states.

Soviet military experts were in Mozambique - albeit not in such numbers as in Angola, but still. At that time, by the way, a student of the 5 course of the philological faculty of Leningrad State University Igor Sechin was sent to Mozambique by a military translator. Just then the situation in this African country was the most tense and the presence of a large number of Soviet military was required there.

During the civil war in Mozambique, Soviet officers took part in the hostilities on the side of the pro-Soviet FRELIMO. According to official figures, during the entire armed conflict in this country, 6 Soviet troops were killed, and 2 people died from illnesses.

After the collapse of the USSR, contacts between Russia and Mozambique weakened. And only in the 2010's did the revival of past contacts begin. It all started with the fact that in Mozambique, which remains one of the poorest countries in the African continent, impressive deposits of oil and gas were unexpectedly found.

Gas was discovered in the province of Cabo Delgado. This is the extreme north of Mozambique, close to the border with Tanzania. The province had never before had a high standard of living, even by very modest Mozambique standards, but after discovering the gas, the country had a chance to become the new Angola, and Cabo Delgado the richest region. Naturally, immediately foreign capital began to show interest in the Mozambique province. First, the South African SASOL Ltd began the construction of a gas pipeline from Cabo Delgado to South Africa.

Then gas fields were found in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of the same province of Cabo Delgado, and the Italian company ENI, together with the American Anadarco, decided to fit the LNG floating plants directly to the fields in the sea and immediately take gas from there for export. At the same time, no one was going to invest in the development of the infrastructure of Mozambique itself, in creating jobs for the local population. Then the Mozambican authorities agreed to introduce rules that greatly complicate the conduct of business in the country for foreigners.

And then it began. In the province of Cabo Delgado appeared ... Islamic radicals. Although Mozambique is a former Portuguese colony, Muslims live in the north of the country in very small numbers, and the bulk of the population is formally considered Catholics, and in fact continues to practice traditional beliefs. Nevertheless, the militants of the radical group Al-Sunna wa Jamaa launched real terror in the north of Mozambique. They attack villages inhabited by Catholics, do not hesitate to kill women and children, and ruin Christian churches and schools. The local population is terrified, and foreign investors are thinking about the further feasibility of working in the "troubled" northern province.

Mozambique authorities are interested in stabilizing the situation in their northern province as soon as possible. After all, terror impedes the full development of the infrastructure necessary for the further exploitation of gas fields. But Western countries do not offer assistance to the Mozambican president, Philip Newsy. Order can only be restored with the help of the same Kalashnikov assault rifle depicted on the Mozambique coat of arms and the country that produced this assault rifle.

Will the Russian military come to Mozambique?

Contacts of the Russian and Mozambique military departments at the highest level intensified in the second half of the 2010's. Following the meeting of defense ministers, a meeting of Russian and Mozambique presidents was organized.

Vladimir Putin and his colleague Filipe Newsi signed several documents on military-technical and economic cooperation between the two states, but most importantly, he forgave Mozambique 95% of his old debt. And in Mozambique, they started talking not only about the unhindered entry of Russian ships into the country's ports, but also about attracting Russian military instructors to train the Mozambique army.

First of all, Mozambique is interested in training special forces, which perform the main range of tasks to combat terrorists. Apparently, it is precisely for them that foreign (Russian) military advisers are required. And this already implies the development of contacts between the General Directorate of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces (ex-GRU).

An article by Jose Milazes appeared in the Portuguese newspaper Observador, in which the author claims the arrival of 160 Russian troops in Mozambique. Their goal is supposedly to deploy a Russian naval base and GRU special forces base in the former Portuguese colony. The author of the article did not forget to emphasize that the Russian military can take part in the hostilities against terrorists in the province of Cabo Delgado.

Another Portuguese journalist, Nuno Felix, on his Twitter account was even more specific. He wrote that Russian helicopters delivered military specialists to the cities of Mueda and Nakala. Allegedly, the Russian military together with the Mozambique government troops will participate in military operations against Islamic radicals operating in the province of Kabu Delgado.

Will the Russian military return to Mozambique?

So far, both in Moscow and Maputo have denied the presence of Russian troops in Mozambique. But in fact, until recently, there were no Russian military in the Central African Republic, but then we still had to admit that our instructors were helping the Central African military department in organizing combat training for the Central African army. It is shrouded in mystery and the possible presence of military specialists from Russia in Sudan. In particular, the Western media attributed to certain private military companies participation in the suppression of opposition in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

Therefore, it is possible that instructors from among former servicemen of the Russian army may go to Mozambique privately. But this is their own business. As for the use of employees of private military companies both for training African armies and for participating in hostilities, this is a very common practice.

PMCs from various countries operate in Africa - from the USA and Great Britain to China. And why, in fact, do Russian companies involved in the exploitation of gas fields in Mozambique not involve such structures to protect their facilities?

For Russia and Russian energy companies, joining Mozambique promises great benefits - this is the exploitation of gas fields, the supply of equipment, and the dispatch of specialists who can work on this equipment. All this is money, moreover, very large. As for the military presence, it is the most important guarantee of the safe implementation of Russian economic projects.

By the way, the presence of Russian warships in the ports of Mozambique allows you to control the southwestern part of the Indian Ocean. Mozambique may also be a Russian outpost upon penetration into neighboring countries of the African continent.

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  1. rocket757
    rocket757 3 October 2019 15: 05
    Will the Russian military return to Mozambique?

    It is something like .... however, why not?
  2. Strashila
    Strashila 3 October 2019 15: 17
    "Then the Mozambican authorities went on to introduce rules that significantly complicate foreigners doing business in the country.
    And then it began. In the province of Kabu Delgadu ... Islamic radicals have appeared. "
    Just like in Iraq at the very beginning of the epic with ISIS, the Americans refused the same thing and away we go.
    1. Astronaut
      Astronaut 3 October 2019 23: 18
      Yes, Americans are the main terrorists on this planet !!!
  3. Sergey985
    Sergey985 3 October 2019 15: 24
    I hope that we have learned the lessons of a bygone era. And for every invested ruble, at least two rubles of return will be. Otherwise, this Africa will again turn into a black hole. How much money there under the USSR was simply buried.
    1. ROBIN-SON
      ROBIN-SON 3 October 2019 23: 00
      Nothing to change. At one time, they slipped into South Africa, though the Yankees also worked in pairs. Destroyed the country, the massacre of white farmers by blacks, rape of women. South Africa on fire. Then the USSR itself collapsed.
      Aboriginal people always have their own interest, who will give more than that and friend. They threw our base in Berber, Somalia, the Yankees entered there, they said very good base. There were many bases around the world. They all quit.
      No, there again.
      First, put things in order in Russia, instead of supermarkets, build production facilities, get involved in high technology, and when I’m not talking about the United States in all respects, get closer to France, then get busy with Africa, etc.
  4. Sergey39
    Sergey39 3 October 2019 15: 35
    It’s high time to develop deposits and earn money in other countries, and to keep our own. Peak Oil is just around the corner.
    1. Ingvar 72
      Ingvar 72 3 October 2019 15: 43
      Quote: Sergey39
      and hold your own.

      As the USA is doing with success. yes
      1. NKT
        NKT 3 October 2019 22: 40
        The US does not hold anything. Do you think they have switched from a good life to shale from traditional?
        1. Ingvar 72
          Ingvar 72 4 October 2019 07: 26
          Quote: NKT
          The US does not hold anything.

          But what about their canned wells? wink Or are you up to date? There are quite a lot of oil in the USA itself, but they prefer not to use their oil, buying from others for candy wrappers. hi
  5. Sergey49
    Sergey49 3 October 2019 16: 03
    That is why the Arabs spend petrodollars on their citizens, and the Russians on strangers? What kind of Soviet fashion to forgive debts to all Papuans?
  6. Xnumx vis
    Xnumx vis 3 October 2019 17: 07
    “- When will you bring the chairs?”
    - Chairs against money.
    “It is possible,” said Ostap, without thinking.
    “Money in advance,” said the fitter, “in the morning - money, in the evening - chairs or in the evening - money, and the next day in the morning - chairs.”
    - And maybe today - chairs, and tomorrow - money? - tortured Ostap.
    “But I, sulking, a tormented man.” Such conditions the soul does not accept. " laughing feel
  7. Okolotochny
    Okolotochny 3 October 2019 17: 31
    And where is "Professor" with "righteous anger" against mercenaries?
    SERGEY SERGEEVICS 3 October 2019 17: 57

    At one time, the Soviet Union made a huge contribution to the political history of the entire African continent, unambiguously taking the side of almost all anti-colonial movements and providing comprehensive assistance to dozens of African states freed from colonial dependence.
    Only unfortunately, these countries very often began to forget about it. Slowly this, we are now starting to correct it.
    The potential in Africa, for our country, is very huge, ranging from political activities to the sale of weapons and the development of mineral resources.
    Mozambique expresses interest in the presence of the Russian military.
    And this is already a good potential for our country to strengthen there, with the help of this country, it was possible to control almost the entire region.
  9. ccsr
    ccsr 3 October 2019 19: 05
    By the way, the presence of Russian warships in the ports of Mozambique allows you to control the southwestern part of the Indian Ocean. Mozambique may also be a Russian outpost upon penetration into neighboring countries of the African continent.

    The so-called "control" is highly questionable, given that the main direction of US attacks on Russia will be quite different. Maintaining such a base would be too costly to be compensated for by selling weapons to Mozambique. Therefore, I think that the idea of ​​attracting our instructors to train local personnel is more reasonable than again getting involved in an adventure to appease local leaders by selfless supplies of our weapons, on which we have been burned repeatedly.
    1. ROBIN-SON
      ROBIN-SON 3 October 2019 23: 13
      In Soviet times, Mozambique was supported. There is a less or less decent port of Lawrence-Marques. Convoys of our merchant ships went there. But there is a long and complex channel. Specialists in South Africa blew up the buoys, no pilots. Our pilots had to drive ships along the canal, and the marines to guard the buoys.
      I’m reading the manilism of our authors and quietly crap. Let's take Alaska back, give the bases in Africa. And so on. Guys, we could not put out the taiga, restore some kind of village after the flood. Putin personally goes to work around. Fall to the ground
      1. ccsr
        ccsr 4 October 2019 09: 59
        Quote: ROBIN-SON
        I’m reading the manilism of our authors and quietly crap. Let's take Alaska back, give the bases in Africa.

        What can you do if some local "experts" are the product of perestroika, which is why they push all kinds of nonsense with a clever look. "Militant Manilovism" is probably the best definition for such pseudo-specialists.
        1. ROBIN-SON
          ROBIN-SON 4 October 2019 10: 18
          I thought before that this game is from ignorance. But most of the "experts" were educated in the USSR. But it was of high quality. What's the matter? Product propaganda?
          1. ccsr
            ccsr 4 October 2019 11: 20
            Quote: ROBIN-SON
            But most of the "experts" were educated in the USSR.

            As I understand it, they found the USSR studying at school, and when the collapse began, their formation as professionals slipped into an unacceptably low level. So they boast that they supposedly know that life, although people who have gone through the Soviet school of life immediately understand their level.
            Quote: ROBIN-SON
            But it was of high quality.

            This is undoubtedly, but even more important is the fact that many already at that time received an idea of ​​how everything works and what to strive for. The "children of perestroika" have a lot of chaos in their heads and often confused and not systematized knowledge, and hence the inability to use it correctly.
            Quote: ROBIN-SON
            What's the matter? Product propaganda?

            Only partly - the loss of life guidelines played a cruel joke with them, and from here the problems began. He asked his son, who graduated from school, who he sees himself in his future life, and he told me that he wanted to be a freelancer. He has to explain the basics of life and convince that now we need to get knowledge to work in production, and not deal with all sorts of new-fangled trends. Although I personally have nothing against freelancing, but life says that for the vast majority, a bird in the hand is better than a crane in the sky.
            1. ROBIN-SON
              ROBIN-SON 4 October 2019 22: 00
              My son was finishing school at EBN. Time Brigade, cops. The heroes were Berezovsky, brothers. The son was home, the mother did not work. Therefore, he did not hang around the basements. But the Old informed about the mood. That was the time for schoolchildren.
              After graduation, there was a strain with work. But somehow it came up, I got attached. But he became a cynic. She doesn’t want to marry, nor children.
              My friend’s sister is an official. She told me about the boss. Like does not understand anything. A friend's sister defended a dissertation. I asked her why they didn’t go higher. There is an education. And she says, they say people are coming to the post, no one cares what kind of education he has. They ask, and whose is WHOSE?
              The population was placed in a different framework, for 30 years the media and especially TV have done a nice job. It is unlikely that anything will change. So we will pull on one engine.
              1. ccsr
                ccsr 5 October 2019 10: 05
                Quote: ROBIN-SON
                The population was placed in a different framework, for 30 years the media and especially TV have done a nice job. It is unlikely that anything will change. So we will pull on one engine.

                I also know the current situation, and anxiety for the future of the country came to me not from the media, but from communication with those who are training current specialists. For many years I have been working with a doctor of medical sciences, a professor of Moscow honey, who, among the hereditary doctors, is now conducting a practical course in ophthalmology for students in one of the hospitals in Moscow, as long retired. In general, as she says, I wouldn’t have been treated by my graduates for anything, and that is to say the least. There is only one hope that still some kind of turning point took place in society, and the acquisition of knowledge was not the receipt of a fashionable piece of paper, but really became the receipt of a highly qualified profession, which allows one to take a worthy place in society. Maybe we’ll pull it out on one motor, and there you look and others will pull ...
                1. ROBIN-SON
                  ROBIN-SON 6 October 2019 10: 59
                  Russia has two tragic dates. The first is 1917, the second is 1990. But if after the first we got out by the 40s, and after the war life began to improve, now our situation reminds me of a triangle resting on one face.
                  In 1917, the logic of events is clear. Lost two wars, the tsarist government decayed, lost the trust of the people. Those. her collapse became inevitable. But the 1990s?
                  As for education. The end of the 90s and the beginning of the 2000s. Going home from the subway. In the hands of the newspaper. I see the urn at the store, about to drop the newspaper. I hear a female voice. A woman in an apron with a broom asks her not to throw it away. We talked. The woman was a candidate of science. Abrek bought a store and made a type of casino there. She works for him as a janitor! Of course for a penny. In her apartment, her husband, doctor of sciences, professor. Also without work and sick. The daughter is unemployed. It shocked me. Complete discredit of the scientific elite. In fact, the destruction thereof. So why be surprised?
                  But the worst thing is that the authorities do not learn from mistakes and with incomprehensible persistence continues the "reforms" of education, and not only that.
                  And you know what else worries me. I live in St. Petersburg. I do not see the Jews. Well, I just do not meet them. Mostly striking is the Caucasus and our former Asia. When I was in school, there were many Jewish teachers. Also at the university. The profession. And they were worthy people, brilliant teachers.
  10. tihonmarine
    tihonmarine 3 October 2019 19: 35
    I was in 1979 for six months in Mozabmik, but I don’t remember Igor Sechin.
  11. Butchcassidy
    Butchcassidy 3 October 2019 20: 29
    Russia is gradually returning to Africa. And this is very good. Keep it up!
  12. The comment was deleted.
    1. Butchcassidy
      Butchcassidy 4 October 2019 12: 07
      So the claim is what?
  13. Avior
    Avior 4 October 2019 00: 02
    Looked at Wikipedia on the religions of Mozambique
    Religions - Catholics - 28,4%, Muslims - 17,9%, Zionist Christians - 15,5%, Protestants - 12,2%, other religions - 6,7%, atheists - 18,7%

    Compared with what the author wrote
    Muslims live in the north of the country and in very small numbers, and the bulk of the population is formally considered Catholics

    I think the author needs to be more attentive to the information provided in the article
  14. Avior
    Avior 4 October 2019 00: 08
    Christian Zionism is the conviction of some Christians that the return of the Jewish people to the Holy Land and the revival of the Jewish state is the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Bible.

    The movement originated in England in the 17th century.
    In 1839, the Earl of Shaftesbury published an article entitled "The State and the Revival of the Jews." In it, he called on the Jews to return to Palestine in order, in his words, to take possession of the lands of Galilee and Judea.

    At the beginning of the XNUMXth century, the movement of Christian Zionism continued to develop and achieved great success in Great Britain. English Prime Minister David Lloyd George was a consistent supporter of Christian Zionism, as was his Foreign Minister, Lord James Arthur Balfour.

    In 1919, Balfour delivered a speech (see Balfour Declaration) in which the UK government “approves the establishment of a“ national center ”for the Jewish people in Palestine and will make every effort to help achieve this goal”
    1. Pavel57
      Pavel57 7 October 2019 23: 37
      An interesting combination is the Christian Zionists.
      1. Avior
        Avior 7 October 2019 23: 48
        I was most interested when I read .....
  15. Samum
    Samum 4 October 2019 06: 25
    Well, what is the benefit to ordinary Russians !? Invest money in the military and base infrastructure, creating conditions for business at the expense of the Russian budget, and the oligarchs will earn money while ordinary people don’t know how to make ends meet !? USSR collapsed helping Africa and where is the return!?
    You have brothers of the scheme abruptly than in Ukraine "Rotterdam +" !!!!!!
    1. Butchcassidy
      Butchcassidy 4 October 2019 12: 09
      Ordinary Russians can think of little except their personal affairs. Now you propose that all state policy be oriented toward what the layman thinks? This is not serious.
    2. Nastia makarova
      Nastia makarova 4 October 2019 12: 12
      What is good for the country, good for citizens
      1. Samum
        Samum 6 October 2019 08: 50
        Past experience teaches nothing!?