6 January 2014

Mozambique: Mozambican Health Workers, Policemen Flee Villages in Fear of Armed Opposition

Photo: Renamo
Renamo soldiers at training in the bush

Health centres in Phembe and Fanha-fanha in Homoine district, Inhambane Province, have no staff because they fled the area afraid of the alleged Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo) armed men who have been in the area since last week, without however harming anyone.

The local police also fled with the population who has sought refuge in the district capital and in Maxixe.

According to the accounts of locals, who feel their future is uncertain, the alleged Renamo men circulate through the villages day and night, asking for food and if necessary buying it. In Gorongosa, Sofala Province, while thousands from the Vunduzi, Kanda, Nhakuku, Tazaranda, Nhambira, Mucodza, Nhataca, Tambararra, and Morombodzi areas and from the Kanda-Nhamadzi administrative post are looking for safe location because of the growing military clashes bet! ween the Defence and Security Forces and Renamo's armed men, there are signs that helicopters are transporting guerrillas to southern Mozambique, supposedly to Homoine district.

A police officer in Gorongosa, who wishes to remain anonymous, told @Verdade that in the early hours of 6 January at about 0300 [local time] a helicopter left the Gorongosa Mountain carrying soldiers headed for the south, something that has been happening since last week. Our source could not, however, explain whether the soldiers were Renamo's or the Army's.

As for the more than 3,500 people who fled their homes looking for safe locations in the district capital of Gorongosa, the number at the accommodation centres is tending to rise daily, and if this situation persists in the next few days it could lead to shortages of assistance and food. In fact, some people at the Mapombwe Primary School and at the AZM and PACO [expansions unknown] associations, for example, are already complaining! that they have not received adequate assistance.

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