High Commission of the Republic of Mozambique

President Nyusi appoints new head of armed forces

Maputo, 15 Jan (AIM) – Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on 14 January reshuffled the top leadership of the armed forces (FADM).

He replaced Lazaro Menete with Eugenio Mussa, as Chief of Staff of the FADM. Mussa had previously been commander of the Civic Service of Mozambique, the body established to absorb young Mozambicans who cannot be recruited into the armed forces.

But even before his appointment as Chief of Staff, Mussa had been put in charge of the FADM units in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, as Commander of the Northern Theatre of Operations. In that role, he addressed a military parade in the Cabo Delgado provincial capital, Pemba, on 3 January and promised that 2021 will be “the decisive year” for defeating terrorism. He called on Mozambican troops to act rigorously, to wipe out definitively the armed groups that have been terrorising several Cabo Delgado districts since October 2017, and who have now pledged their allegiance to the self-styled “Islamic State”.

President Nyusi also promoted Mussa from the rank of Major-General to that of General of the Army.

President Nyusi replaced Raul Dique with Bertolino Capitine as Deputy Chief of Staff of the FADM, promoting him to the rank of Lieutenant-General. Capitine was originally an officer in the former rebel movement Renamo.

Thus President Nyusi’s latest appointments maintain the balance established in 1994, when the FADM was set up, of a Chief of Staff drawn from the former government army, the FAM/FPLM, and a Deputy Chief of Staff from Renamo.

As is normal with presidential dispatches, President Nyusi gave no reasons for the appointments. But, according to the independent newssheet “Carta de Mocambique”, Menete had been suffering from ill health.