3 April 2014

Mozambique: Frelimo General Secretary Condemns Renamo Attacks

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

Maputo — The general secretary of Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party, Eliseu Machava, on Thursday condemned the armed attacks carried out by the former rebel movement Renamo in the central province of Sofala, pointing out that it makes no sense for a party to talk with the government in the capital, while waging military action in the centre of the country.

“We condemn the attitude of Renamo of sitting at the table and talking, while it is shooting at the same time”, said Machava. “It is shooting at the same population it says it loves so much. We condemn attacks carried out at the very moment when significant advances are being made to re-establish peace”.

Machava was speaking at a press conference in Maputo, held to announce his working visit to the capital, from now until 18 April.

He said there are visible efforts on the part of the government to guarantee peace, as shown “by the fact that the government is always yielding to Renamo demands”.

“On the one hand, we have the work done in Maputo, in a calm environment, and on the other we have what is happening in Sofala. It's absurd”, said Machava. “It's strange that they attack a goods train, they attack the public, and then their representative appears in the media, saying that they're working for a lasting peace”.

“We've heard voices asking the politicians to stop the shooting”, he added. “They should ask Renamo to stop its attacks, because it is Renamo, and not the other political parties, which is committing the attacks”.

Why, he mused, was it only the government which showed an interest in ceasing the hostilities, by giving way to Renamo's demands? If Renamo was truly interested in seeing the Mozambican people living in peace, why was it always raising new demands? “They impose conditions”, said Machava, “they destroy, they kill, and then they say they are defending the people. What is this?”

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