Mozambique: Nyusi Orders Capture of Manica and Sofala Assailants

Maputo — Gorongosa (Mozambique), 17 Nov (AIM) - Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi announced on Friday that he has ordered the defence and security forces to launch operations to pursue and capture the individuals responsible for the armed attacks in the central provinces of Manica and Sofala.

The attacks, mostly ambushes on the main roads of the region, have left ten people dead, injured dozens and have vandalised vehicles and various social facilities. The police describe the attacks as the work of "Renamo armed men", and eye-witnesses say the attackers wore the green uniforms typical of the Renamo militia.

Both factions in Renamo - the mainstream of the opposition party, led by Ossufo Momade, and the dissidents of the "Renamo Military Junta", led by Mariano Nhongo - have denied responsibility for the attacks.

Speaking at a rally in the Sofala town of Gorongosa, shortly after inaugurating a water supply system, Nyusi said "everyone has denied that they are doing anything, but people are dying. They say they are not killing them but people are dying. Since, unlike in the past, nobody says 'we did this', I have instructed the defence and security forces to pursue these people. They will have to chase them, catch them and hold them responsible".

He added, that if whoever ordered the attacks is living in a city, "we shall go and arrest him and hold him responsible. We cannot spend our entire lives at war. We want to build the country".

Nyusi recalled that the amnesty law, passed earlier this year in tandem with the peace and reconciliation agreement he signed with Ossufo Momade on 6 August, covers acts committed between 2014 and 2016. It does not pardon those found guilty of new crimes.

"The Amnesty Law is for the past, not the future", said the President. "So we are going to pursue, catch and hold criminally responsible these people, because now is the time to work, and this is only possible with peace".

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