The Mozambique Army defends the nation’s sovereignty and integrity and defends its citizens against armed aggression. The Army may also assist the police to restore order during domestic emergencies. Because Mozambique faces no threat from its neighbors, the army focuses on support to civil authorities, primarily through humanitarian assistance and infrastructure development.
The Mozambique Army is believed to have the following units:
- 7 infantry battalions
- 3 Special Forces battalions
- 1 multiple rocket launcher battalion
- 2 artillery battalions
- 2 engineer battalions
- 1 logistics battalion
The army’s vehicle inventory suggests that it has mechanized units, but equipment readiness levels are very low, and those units are probably not mission capable.
Army headquarters is located in Maputo. Units are stationed throughout the country, with major garrisons located in the provincial capitals. The military academy is located in Nampula, and recruit training centers are in Manhica and Montepuez. A new peacekeeping training center was constructed at Moamba.
The Army Chief of Staff is a Major General. Military service is compulsory, but only 1,000 Mozambicans are drafted annually. Soldiers suffer from poor living conditions, with inadequate housing and medical treatment, low pay, and food and water shortages. As a result, many Mozambicans refuse to register for the draft. The Army’s high attrition rate and limited recruiting have resulted in a grossly top-heavy rank structure. While the GPA directed an equal representation of former government and rebel forces, government loyalists continue to dominate the leadership, rank and file. Partisanship and distrust characterize an army the GPA designed to symbolize national reconciliation.
The army has no capable doctrine. After undergoing major transitions from a people’s liberation army to a conventional force patronized by the East, then the West, the army has incorporated former adversaries with diverse experiences and capabilities. Operating without a realistic threat; lacking funding, training, and equipment and serving a nation more in need of development and humanitarian assistance than war-fighting skills, the Army focuses on support to civilian authorities and conducts few military operations.
Initial entry training is conducted at Montepuez and Manhica military training centers. Once soldiers graduate, they are put to work in humanitarian and infrastructure development tasks and seldom train again. Officers attend the Samora Machel Military Academy in Nampula for 4 years. Officers and noncommissioned officers have more opportunities to train in foreign schools than the few soldiers they lead.
Equipment shortages and low readiness rates severely affect army capabilities. The Mozambique Army is largely a dismounted force with limited support from other branch.
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