Mozambique: Renamo Military Junta Boasts of Dombe Attack

Maputo — The self-styled "Renamo Military Junta" has claimed responsibility for Monday's attack on the camp of a timber company at Dombe, in the central Mozambican province of Manica.

In the attack, according to the police, a Vietnamese citizen was killed, and seven heavy trucks used in the transport of timber, were destroyed.

The leader of the Junta, Mariano Nhongo, interviewed by the German agency DW Africa, promised further such attacks if the Mozambican government did not pursue the "Demobilisation, Disarming and Reintegration" (DDR) of Renamo forces.

But DDR has nothing to do with the military junta. It was negotiated between the government and the Renamo mainstream, led by Ossufo Momade, who signed a general peace agreement with President Filipe Nyusi last August.

The Junta was formed by dissidents who regard Momade as "a traitor", and have even threatened to murder him. Nhongo does not recognise the peace agreement, and wants the government to negotiate with him and not with Momade.

"The government must resolve the problem of Renamo. Without this, there will be problems in Mozambique", threatened Nhongo. He said the Junta's targets will be "national and foreign investments".

He posed as a patriot fighting against alleged Chinese looting of Mozambican natural resources. "All the timber is going to China. To do what?", he asked. "This country does not belong to the Chinese".

"The international businesses, some are in the bush, exploiting precious stones and timber, and sending them to their own country, to China. We repudiate this", declared Nhongo. This is a new excuse for the Junta's attacks, and the first time that Nhongo has mentioned Chinese companies.

Nhongo has also protested against an alleged agreement between Momade's wing of Renamo and the government, under which Renamo will send men to assist the government in the battle against terrorist groups in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

Renamo has denied that there is any such accord. "We don't have any agreement with the government to support the army's operations in Cabo Delgado", Renamo spokesperson Jose Manteigas declared last week.

"This is just a bluff and an attempt at manipulation", added Manteigas, stressing that Nhongo is no longer part of Renamo.

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