6 June 2014

Mozambique: Renamo Are Still "armed Bandits", Says Frelimo

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

Maputo — The former rebel movement Renamo remains an organisation of armed bandits, declared Damiao Jose, spokesperson of Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party, at a Maputo press conference on Thursday.

“Armed bandits” was the term used by Frelimo and the Mozambican government to describe Renamo throughout the war of destabilisation, until peace talks begin in Rome in 1990.

Jose said that the repeated Renamo ambushes against convoys using the main north-south road this week showed that Renamo were still bandits.

Renamo's criminal behaviour, he added, demonstrated that it remains an instrument of destabilisation, carrying out an agenda that is contrary to the interests of the Mozambican people.

“There is no doubt that Renamo remains an enemy of the Mozambican people, that Renamo does not want peace, and that Renamo is afraid of participating in the October general and provincial elections”, said Jose.

He warned that, through its belligerent actions, “Renamo is digging its own grave, with the support of its natural allies and of its bosses. One day the people will bring about justice, for patience has its limits”.

“How can one explain that the spokesperson of the Renamo leader (Afonso Dhlakama) makes intimidatory speeches announcing that they are going to resume their project of killing Mozambicans and the following day attacks against innocent civilians do indeed resume?”, he asked. “What blame do Mozambicans have, when they fight in various ways against poverty, but are then killed on the public highway by the armed bandits of Renamo?”

Asked who the “bosses” of Renamo are, Jose replied “they are all those who salute Renamo whenever it carries out ambushes, kills Mozambicans and destroys the goods of the Mozambican people”.

Jose urged Renamo to look into its conscience and to end, once and for all, its killing of Mozambicans. Instead it should “embrace the path of dialogue and peace, by unconditionally disarming its armed bandits so that they become men who are useful to their families and to society”.

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