Mozambique Hotting – Up

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Mozambican government reinforces military presence in the country

DW Moçambique


The Renamo deadline for assuming governance in the six provinces where it claims election victory in the October 2014 elections passed on Thursday 31 March, with party spokesman Antonio Muchanga refusing to tell DW Africa whether or not Renamo has the ability to fulfill its promise in the present circumstances.

Muchanga merely reaffirmed the intentions of the largest opposition party, while stressing that Renamo would not use force to achieve its goal.

“At the moment there are ugly clashes in several parts of the country – in Tete, in Gorongosa. There were clashes in Inhambane, indicating that the people clearly understand that the deadline may not be met because of this situation. Because it is above all necessary to preserve human life,” he said.

Independent observers however, see more concrete obstacles to the implementation of Renamo’s plans. Many administrative staff in opposition party strongholds for example are said to have abandoned their positions as a result of conflicts between Renamo and government forces.

In Muxungué, DW Africa’s correspondent Arsenio Sebastiao witnessed major military columns on the move.

“I know that the column coming from Save clashed with alleged Renamo men. The other, from Caia and Nhamapaza, also experienced confrontations today,” he reports.

According to Sebastiao, there is evidence that government military units are trying to reach the military base at Satunjira, where Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama is assumed to be staying. “They are indicative of future military clashes in Gorongosa,” the journalist adds.

On the ground in Sofala province, the DW correspondent has no doubt that the proliferation of attacks on government forces is directly related to Renamo’s promise to assume governance in the six provinces where it claims to have won the 2014 parliamentary elections.

“The main roads are all full of soldiers whose mission is probably to nullify any Renamo governance as and when it is announced,” Sebastiao says.

But it seems that, despite repeated assertions that Renamo and the government are willing to negotiate, the violence is coming from both sides. This morning a passenger was attacked near Nhamatema, Barué district, Manica province, by suspected Renamo members.

Provincial police command spokesperson in Manica Elcídia Filipe said: “The attack did not cause any fatalities, but we can confirm one passenger was slightly injured by broken glass.”

Journalists trying to confirm the attack independently were prevented from doing their work.

DW correspondent in Chimoio Bernardo Jequete reports:: “I tried to talk to two passengers, but was ordered not to. They forbade it. They said I could only talk to the police.”

The escalating armed clashes and multiplication of violent incidents and mutual accusations do not suggest that dialogue in Mozambique will happen any time soon.

Source: DW Moçambique

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