5 February 2019

Mozambique: Mocimboa DA Praia Curfew Lifted

Maputo — The mayor of the northern Mozambican town of Mocimboa da Praia, Fernando Neves, on Friday lifted the curfew he had decreed 6 days earlier.

Neves had claimed that the public in the town had demanded the curfew, as a measure to prevent Islamist insurgents passing through the town at night.

The curfew banned all movement of vehicles and pedestrians on the streets and all commercial and entertainment activities between 21.00 and 04.00.

This curfew was illegal since such decisions lie outside of the powers of any mayor or municipal council.

The general commander of the Mozambican police, Bernadino Rafael had supported the curfew, but others, including the chairperson of the Mozambican Bar Association (OAM), Flavio Menete, pointed out that it violated the constitution.

A curfew suspends the constitutional rights of citizens to freedom of movement. It is thus part of a state of siege or of emergency, and the only person who can declare such a state is the President of the Republic.

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