Defenec forces overrun Renamo Zambezia base

Maputo (AIM) – The Mozambican defence and security forces have stormed and occupied the major base of the Renamo rebels in Morrumbala district, in the central province of Zambezia, according to a report on the independent television station, STV.

Source: Defenec forces overrun Renamo Zambezia base – The Zimbabwean 11.09.2016

This illegal base of the Renamo militia was set up late last year in Sabe locality and given the title of a “general staff headquarters”. It is from this base, that Renamo has launched attacks in Morrumbala and neighbouring districts.

STV reported that eight people died in the clashes, but this figure has not been confirmed, either by Renamo or by the police

The police spokesperson in Zambezia, Jacinto Felix, told reporters “the defence and security forces stormed the Renamo headquarters in Morrumbala, and currently a team is on the ground assessing the damage caused”.

But he claimed that nobody had been killed or injured in the attack which lasted for about two hours. The Renamo gunmen all fled from Sabe.

The fall of the Sabe base occurred on the eve of the resumption of talks in Maputo between the government and Renamo under international mediation.  The talks were suspended in late August after Renamo rejected a proposal from the mediators for a truce.

Renamo said it would only cease its attacks, if the government withdrew its forces from the Gorongosa mountain range, near the bush camp where Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama is currently living. Such a unilateral ceding of territory was quite unacceptable to the government.

Renamo also rejected the proposal for a demilitarized corridor in Sofala province which would give the mediators direct access to Dhlakama. So far there has been no meeting between Dhlakama and the mediators, and if they wish to speak to him, the mediators must phone him up.

The mediators, having failed to achieve a breakthrough, left Maputo, and the next meeting of the government/Renamo joint commissions was scheduled for 12 September.

The mediators appointed by Renamo come from the European Union, the Catholic Church and the South African government, while the government invited former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, the Global Leadership Foundation (represented by former Botswanan President Quett Masire), and the Faith Foundation, set up by former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.