Maputo — Despite the ceasefire announced by its leader, Mariano Nhongo, just before Christmas, the dissident "Renamo Military Junta", attacked a convoy of vehicles in the central Mozambican province of Sofala on Saturday morning.
One person was killed, struck by two bullets, in the attack. The convoy, which consisted mainly of trucks, was ambushed shortly after 07.00 in the region of Zove, about 30 kilometres from the administrative post of Muxungue. Severe damage was caused to the vehicles, according to a report in Monday's issue of the independent newsheet "Carta de Mocambique".
The paper's sources said the convoy had not been escorted because the units of the Defence and Security Forces operating on that stretch of the country's main north-south highway (EN1) supposedly had no fuel to ensure their security.
The attack is in brutal contrast with the promises made by Nhongo in December, when he claimed that his men had "silenced their guns".
"I am the President of the Military Junta and I have stopped my men so that they do not undertake any further action", said Nhongo."I am appealing to the entire Mozambican people and also to the government so that they don't think that the force of guns will bring Mozambique to peace".
The attack should also come as a severe embarrassment to the Mozambican authorities - for last week the spokesperson of the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM), Freitas Neto, cited by Mozambican Television (TVM), said "We can guarantee that the armed forces have returned tranquillity to the central region of the country".