26 February 2016

Mozambique: Renamo Gunmen Attack Convoy Near Muxungue

Photo: J. Jackson/VOA
Renamo rebels being trained for combat at a remote bush camp (file Photo).

Maputo — Gunmen of the Mozambican rebel movement Renamo have again attacked a convoy on the main north-south highway, in the central province of Sofala, but without causing any fatalities.

Speaking to reporters in Beira on Thursday, Sofala provincial police spokesperson Sididi Paulo said the latest ambush came at about 07.45 on Wednesday, against the first convoy of the day travelling under armed escort from the small town of Muxungue to the Save river. This 100 kilometre stretch has come under repeated Renamo attack since 10 February.

Paulo said the Renamo attack took place in the Zove area, near Muxungue, which is a favourite spot for ambushes. Two vehicles were hit, but there were no human casualties.

This brings to 19 the number of Renamo attacks in Sofala since Renamo relaunched its insurrection a fortnight ago. Paulo said these attacks had resulted in two deaths, eight injuries (three of them serious), three vehicles destroyed, and 15 damaged,

In addition to the Save-Muxungue stretech, there have been attacks against vehicles further north, on the stretch from Nhamapadza, in Maringue district, to Caia, on the south bank of the Zambezi. Since 20 February, travel along this stretch of road has also been by armed convoy.

“The convoys from Muxungue to the Save, and from Nhamapadza to Caia, have come under attack from Renamo”, said Paulo. “There has been a prompt response to the attacks, and the government forces remain present along the two stretches of road to guarantee the transport of people and goods from one point to another”.

On Thursday, Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi met with the diplomatic corps, to assure them that the current politico-military tensions would soon be over.

Speaking to reporters, the spokesperson for the meeting, Alvaro O da Silva, Director of Studies and Planning in the Foreign Ministry, said “the main thrust of the Minister's speech was to stress the government's willingness and openness to dialogue, and that the only way to solve the politico-military tension is dialogue”.

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