Mozambique: Another Truck Ambushed in Sofala

Maputo — Unidentified gunmen attacked a truck on Wednesday morning, in the central province of Sofala, just a day after gunmen had killed a policeman in an attack against a police post in Metuchira, in the same province.

There have now been four armed attacks in Sofala in the space of a week. Five people died in those attacks, including two policemen. According to the spokesperson for the General Command of the Mozambican police, Orlando Mudumane, cited by the independent television station, STV, nobody was killed in the Wednesday attack.

He blamed the former rebel movement Renamo for all the attacks and, as in previous statements, he refused to distinguish between the Renamo which stood in the 15 October general elections, headed by Ossufo Momade, and the dissidents who call themselves the "Renamo Military Junta", headed by Mariano Nhongo.

"As far as the Defence and Security Forces are concerned, they are Renamo armed men", he said. "Nhongo is part of Renamo".

This wilfully ignores the fact that Renamo has split into two groups, one following Momade, and the other loyal to Nhongo. Momade insists that his Renamo has nothing to do with the attacks in Sofala and the neighbouring province of Manica, and that he remains loyal to the peace agreement he signed with President Filipe Nyusi on 6 August.

Mudumane said that additional units of the defence and security forces have been sent to the central region, but there are no plans to revive the system of military escorts to accompany vehicles travelling along the dangerous stretches of the main north-south highway (EN1) or the Beira-Zimbabwe road (EN6).

During the previous bout of Renamo ambushes in 2015-16, military escorts were essential along parts of EN1. There have been no such escorts since the late Renamo leader, Afonso Dhlakama, declared a truce in December 2016.

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