Maputo — Mozambican Interior Minister Jaime Monteiro has warned that the government is investigating reports that the former rebel movement Renamo is recruiting young people for military training in the central province of Sofala.
Cited by Radio Mozambique, after a three day working visit to Tete province, Monteiro said the government is checking the veracity of the report, so that “the necessary measures” can be taken.
He stressed that the government is doing all in its power to prevent the country from becoming a stage for political and military instability, and declared that there is no room for violence in Mozambique.
He warned that, in the event of any threats to the country's sovereignty, the defence and security forces will be able to respond to guarantee public order and tranquillity.
“We value the information that we receive, and it is our duty to follow it up and take measures that will help avoid any disturbances”, said Monteiro. “We want to guarantee that any threat, no matter how small it may appear, will meet the best response on our part. We don't want violence, but we want to maintain the environment of stability and calm”.
The fear that Renamo has been illicitly recruiting young Mozambicans into its militia arises from the fact that some of the armed men seen at Renamo rallies, or accompanying Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama seem far too young to have been fighters in the war of destabilization which ended in October 1992. Renamo members who fought in that war must now be at least 40 years old.
Monteiro also congratulated those members of the Renamo militia who have defected, abandoning Renamo bases in the bush, and asking to be recruited into the armed forces (FADM) or the police, or to be reintegrated into civilian life. Last week, a group of 100 Renamo gunmen surrendered their weapons and handed themselves over to the authorities in Sofala.