Cablegate: State of Affairs of Mozambican Police And

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


E.O. 12958: N/A

1. SUMMARY. Over a period of three days, Ambassador and
acting RSO met with the commissioner of the Mozambican
national police (PRM), Miguel dos Santos, and the
spokesperson of the PRM and head of the Community Policing
Program, Nataniel Macama. Notable issues discussed included
the state of crime in Mozambique, border security, activities
at the police academy, community policing, and the effect of
HIV/AIDS on the police force. Although positive programs are
in place to strengthen police capacity, Mozambique lacks the
resources necessary to adequately protect its borders and
control crime. Cooperation between the USG and the PRM is

2. Major areas of criminal activity in Mozambique range from
street crime, to drug use and smuggling, and poor monitoring
of the use of Mozambique's dwindling natural resources.
Hashish and marijuana are the two most common drugs moving
through and in use in Mozambique (imported from east Asia).
Due to porous and poorly controlled land and sea borders,
control of trafficking in illegal drugs is difficult.
Mozambique does not have the capacity or resources necessary
to control its vast borders. Mozambique has 2700 km of
seacoast but zero sea vessels to patrol this vast coastline.
The PRM has developed a maritime police unit and has trained
approximately 100 maritime police officers to date, but no
resources have been made available to put these initial
efforts into practice. The PRM is also unable to cope with
the large amounts of illegal fishing and logging due to this
same lack of resources.

3. The PRM has been successful, however, in combating street
crime and drug use on the street, through the development of
a Community Policing Program. This program was developed with
the assistance of the German government to create a system
similar to a neighborhood watch program. Trusted community
leaders are elected to lead the community policing efforts in
specific neighborhoods. These leaders discourage people in
the community from committing crimes and report incidents to
the police. The program empowers people in the community to
take responsibility in their community, but it does not give
them the authority to take matters into their own hands. Thus
far, approximately 300 communities throughout Mozambique have
joined this program. Statistically, street crime is on a
decline in Maputo and in the rest of Mozambique, which has
been attributed to this program. A specific example is an
area in Maputo that used to be nicknamed "Colombia", for the
high amount of illegal drug sales and use, which no longer
carries this moniker due to the reduction of criminal

4. The success of this program has been hindered by the lack
of some critical elements necessary to communicate with the
police when a crime occurs. Although community leaders are
more involved with the police, many of these communities lack
phones or other means of communication. Many times, a person
is sent many kilometers to the nearest police station to
report a crime. The US Department of State through the
American Embassy Maputo and the International Narcotics and
Law Enforcement (INL) office, and with the Assistance of the
International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance
Program (ICITAP), have proposed a community policing program
in the form of equipping and training police officers on
bicycles. This program, previously applied in Ghana, would
allow the police easier access to reach out to the community
and aid the communication process between the police and the

5. Combating HIV/AIDS is a looming challenge for Mozambique
and the PRM does not escape this challenge. Thirty to forty
police officers die monthly from complications related to
HIV/AIDS. Yearly, the police force graduates 1000 new
recruits, but loses 600 officers to HIV/AIDS. Although
efforts have been made to combat the epidemic in the police
force, resources are limited. Post has initiated plans to
incorporate efforts to aid the PRM in combating HIV/AIDS in
the PEPFAR strategic plan.

6. Both Commandant dos Santos and Mr. Macama were
appreciative of the assistance that the US government has
provided the PRM. Commandant dos Santos offered his continued
support in ensuring the safety and security of the US mission
and the fight against global terrorism.

© Scoop Media

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