Maputo — The Mozambican authorities in the southern province of Inhambane have released 23 members of the former rebel movement Renamo, who had been arrested in illegal possession of firearms, some of them last year and some this year.
The Renamo members were released under the amnesty law passed last week by the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, which took after effect on Monday, after it was published in the official gazette, the "Boletim da Republica".
Speaking to AIM in a brief telephone contact on Thursday, the head of the public relations department in the Inhambane Provincial Police Command, Juma Amad, said the group are returning, at their own expense, to their home provinces.
According to Amad, none of the 23 was from Inhambane. Some came from the central provinces of Manica and Zambezia, some from the northern province of Nampula, and some from Maputo.
The police have returned the goods that were confiscated from them when they were detained, including foodstuffs and two vehicles (a Ford Ranger and a truck of unspecified make). But the police have kept the guns and ammunition that were seized. These consisted of 15 AK-47 assault rifles and 2,842 bullets.
This is the second release under the Amnesty Law - the first was Antonio Muchanga, the spokesperson for Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, who was released on Tuesday. Muchanga had been detained in July on charges of incitement to violence.