11 November 2013

Mozambique: One Dead As Renamo Clashes With Government Forces

Photo: Renamo
Renamo soldiers at training in the bush (file photo).

Maputo — The Mozambican defence and security forces shot dead a gunman of the former rebel movement Renamo in a clash on Sunday morning, in the central district of Gorongosa, according to a report on the independent television station, STV.

The Renamo attack was at Canda, in the Nhamadzi administrative post, where Renamo had attacked a police station and looted a health centre last Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the small police unit was outnumbered and retreated rather than shoot back. But on Sunday the police and military forces were better prepared, and repelled the early morning attack.

One member of the Renamo group died, and TV crews filmed his body later in the day. The rest of the attacked group slipped back into the bush.

Meanwhile the Renamo office in Maputo has claimed that the invitation from President Armando Guebuza for a face-to-face meeting with Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama in Maputo on 8 November only arrived at the office on that day.

Guebuza's spokesperson, Edson Macuacua, had told reporters last Tuesday that the invitation had been sent "through the habitual channels".

He did not specify whether he meant the Renamo office, or other channels.

The Renamo national spokesperson, Fernando Mazanga, cited in Monday's issue of the independent newsheet "Mediafax", said the party would now try to ensure that the invitation reached its leader.

"We have now formally received the invitation", he said. "We shall analyse it and, despite all the difficulties, we shall do everything to ensure that the reply arrives as soon as possible".

But he stressed that the Renamo office has no idea where Dhlakama is. "If we knew where our president is, we would already have sent him the invitation", he said.

Dhlakama has not been seen in public since the Mozambican armed forces occupied his bush headquarters at Satunjira, in Gorongosa district, three weeks ago. He, and several other senior Renamo officials, left the Satunjira base before the troops arrived. He is believed to have fled into the Gorongosa mountain range.

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