4 June 2014

Mozambique: Renamo Hits Convoy Twice in One Morning

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

Maputo — Gunmen of Mozambique's former rebel movement Renamo on Tuesday morning mounted two attacks on a convoy on the country's main north-south highway in the central province of Sofala, according to the Mozambican police.

The head of public relations of the Sofala provincial police command, Daniel Macuacua, told reporters that both attacks were against the same convoy, which was travelling under military escort from the small town of Muxungue to the Save river, on the boundary with Inhambane province.

The first attack came at about 09.15, in the area of Zove, shortly after the convoy had left Muxungue. This was in exactly the same place as the Renamo attack against the Monday morning Muxungue-Save convoy.

“After intensive clashes, the bandits fled in disarray, and the convoy continued its journey”, said Macuacua. “But the convoy was attacked again, at about 09.45 by another group of bandits”. The second attack occurred in Muntingoti.

Macuacua said that, in the first attack four civilians and one soldier were injured, and in the second two people were injured, one soldier and one civilian. This contradicts the initial reports given on Tuesday by the independent television station STV, which spoke of three people killed as well as seven injured.

On Monday Renamo spokesman Antonio Muchanga announced the end of the truce which Renamo had supposedly been observing, on the orders of its leader, Afonso Dhlakama, since 7 May.

People wishing to travel overland between the north and south of the country have no choice but to use the Muxungue-Save stretch of road. Should Renamo succeed in closing the road, that would have severe consequences for the Mozambican economy.

Macuacua pledged that the defence and security forces will do all in their power to protect the road and guarantee a safe journey for the users. He promised that this task would involve “pursuing the bandits to wherever may be necessary”.

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