10 December 2013

Mozambique: Ten Civilians Murdered By Renamo in Six Weeks

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

Attacks by Renamo gunmen over the past six weeks have resulted in ten civilian deaths with a further 26 people injured, according to the Defence Ministry.

Speaking at a Maputo press conference on 4 December, the National Director of Defence Policy in the Ministry, Cristovao Chume, did not reveal the losses suffered by the defence and security forces or by Renamo itself.

Almost all the Renamo attacks have occurred in the central province of Sofala. There was a further focus of tension in Rapale district, in the northern province of Nampula, where three attacks occurred.

Chume said that, in addition, to the human casualties around 30 vehicles have been targeted in the Renamo attacks. Damage varied from slight to total.

The Defence Ministry believed the attacks showed that there is a still a Renamo military command giving orders. "The attacks are coordinated and they (the gunmen) are complying expressly with orders given at a high level within Renamo", said Chume.

Chume urged Renamo to end hostilities, warning FADM would not stay on the defensive indefinitely. "Our position of staying on the defensive is because we think it helps unite efforts in the context of political dialogue", he said.

However, if no understanding is reached through dialogue, and Renamo continues to launch attacks, "naturally the Mozambican government, state and people cannot continue just watching these situations", he said.

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