Voice of America (Washington, DC)

22 October 2013

Mozambique: Ex-Rebels Attack Mozambique Police Station After Ending Peace Deal

Photo: J. Jackson/VOA
Renamo rebels being re-trained for combat at a remote bush camp near Mozambique's Gorongosa mountains (file photo).

A former rebel group in Mozambique has attacked a police station, after saying it has ended a 1992 peace deal with the country's ruling party.

Authorities told VOA on Tuesday that Renamo staged the pre-dawn attack on a station in the central town of Maringue. The town is near the group's military base.

There were no reports of casualties. The French News Agency says police officers fled from the building.

On Monday, the group announced it was pulling out of its peace deal with the ruling Frelimo party because government forces had captured a base where its leader was staying. Renamo said its leader, Afonso Dhlakama, managed to escape.

The government says it attacked the base in a remote region of the Gorongosa mountains in response to an assault by suspected Renamo fighters against a military unit last week.

Tension between the groups has escalated over the past year. Renamo has threatened to return to war unless the ruling party renegotiates some of the terms of the 1992 peace deal.

The U.S. embassy in the capital, Maputo, has urged calm. In a statement Tuesday, the embassy condemned violence as a means of resolving disputes and urged the two sides to engage in dialogue.

Renamo Opposition Group

Founded in 1970s by Andre Matsangaissa as anti-communist rebel group

Has been led by Afonso Dhlakama since Matsangaissa's death in 1979

Fought bloody 15-year civil war against ruling Frelimo party

Signed peace agreement with Frelimo in 1992, ending civil war

Renamo is now Mozambique's main opposition party

Renamo is Mozambique's main opposition party.

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