4 June 2014

Mozambique: Renamo Attacks Convoy for Third Day Running

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

Maputo — For the third consecutive day, gunmen of Mozambique's former rebel movement Renamo, attacked a convoy of vehicles on the country's main north-south highway, in the central province of Sofala.

Despite their military escort, the convoy came under fire on Wednesday morning on the 100 kilometre stretch of road between the small town of Muxungue, and the Save river, marking the boundary with Inhambane province.

An eye-witness told AIM that several people were injured in the ambush, but he was not sure how many.

This is the fourth attack on the road in three days. There was an attack on Monday morning, and two attacks against the same convoy on Tuesday. On Tuesday, according to a report on the independent television station STV, three people were killed and seven injured. The police confirmed that seven people were injured, but said nothing about fatalities.

The attacks follow the announcement by Renamo spokesperson Antonio Muchanga on Monday that Renamo was suspending what it called a “unilateral ceasefire” ordered by Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama on 7 May.

Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco, who heads the government delegation in the apparently endless dialogue between the government and Renamo, denied that there was ever any real ceasefire.

Cited in Wednesday's issue of the independent daily “O Pais”, he said “What happened was that as long as Renamo did not attack, the defence and security forces also did not open fire, which shows that the national army is there just to guarantee order and tranquillity, and not to hunt down members of Renamo as they claim”.

AIM contacted Muchanga after receiving news of the Wednesday ambush, but he said he had no information about the attack.

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