29 January 2016

Mozambique: Renamo Attacks Defence Forces

Photo: A. Cascais/Deutsche Welle
Alfonso Dhlakama

Maputo — Gunmen of Mozambique's former rebel movement Renamo attacked a position of the defence and security forces in the small hours of Thursday morning at the village of Zero, in Morrumbala district, in the central province of Zambezia.

According to a report in Friday's issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, three forest wardens, members of the police unit set up to protect the country's natural resources, were seriously injured in the clash. Once the shooting had finished, they were evacuated to the nearest health unit.

Zero is about 20 kilometres from Sabe where Renamo late last year established a new military base, which it called a “General Staff Headquarters”. Zero is also located on the country's main north-south road. In the wake of the shooting the movement of vehicles along this stretch of the road was interrupted for several hours.

The independent newssheet “Mediafax” sought further information on the incident from Jacinto Felix, spokesperson for the Zambezia Provincial Police Command. He said he could say nothing until a police team dispatched to Zero reported back. The police have promised to hold a press conference on Friday.

The Zero attack is a blatant violation of the agreement on a cessation of military hostilities signed on 5 September 2014 by Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama and the then President, Armando Guebuza. This agreement was supposed to bring to a definitive end the low-level insurrection Renamo had been waging since June 2013, mainly in Sofala province. Many of the Renamo attacks in 2013-14 targeted vehicles using the main north-south highway.

The attack also follows the repeated threats from Dhlakama to seize power in six northern and central provinces (including Zambezia) as from March.


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