Renamo sets up road block in Niassa

Maputo (AIM) – Gunmen of the Mozambican rebel movement Renamo set up a road block on Sunday morning on the road between Cuamba and Marrupa, in the northern province of Niassa, according to a report on Radio Mozambique.

Source: Renamo sets up road block in Niassa – The Zimbabwean 12.09.2016

About 30 Renamo gunmen were involved in illegally halting and searching vehicles. They claimed to be searching for members of the defence and security forces.

Minibus driver Carlos da Conceicao told the radio “Two men stepped out in front of me. They pointed a gun at me, and so I had to stop. They ordered me to step out of the vehicle and asked if there were any soldiers or policemen with me”.

He told them he was just carrying ordinary members of the public. “They ordered me to open the doors, and they confirmed there were just defenceless citizens inside”. Conceicao counted “more than 30” Renamo members by the roadside.

The administrator of Maua district, Joao Maguimbe, confirmed the incident and said that a police unit has been sent to the area to maintain public order and tranquillity.

Meanwhile, a gang of about 15 Renamo gunmen attacked the headquarters of the Sabeta administrative post in Tambara district, Manica province, on Friday morning.

According to a report in the Maputo daily “Noticias”, they vandalized the maternity ward in the local hospital, smashing windows and destroying chairs, desks and cupboards. They also stole medicines and medical equipment.

The Tambara district administrator, Mauricio Masharubu, said that the raid occurred at about 04.00. The Renamo group was 15 strong, four of whom were carrying AK-47 assault rifles.

The director of the district health services, David Martinho, said that nobody was hurt in the attack, and the medical staff have now returned to work despite the climate of fear left by Renamo.

The gunmen went on to the home of the head of the administrative post, where they smashed windows, but were unable to break down the doors. They then attacked the administrative post secretariat, where they destroyed the archives and the furniture.

Dialogue between the government and Renamo, under international mediation, is expected to resume on Monday, after an interval of a fortnight. The Joint Commission between the two sides is supposed to discuss how to arrange a cessation of hostilities.

In late August the mediators’ attempts to secure a truce came to nothing, because Renamo demanded a unilateral withdrawal of government forces from positions in the Gorongosa mountains, near the bush camp where Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama is currently living. The government rejected this imposition, knowing full well that any territory it abandons will promptly be seized by the Renamo militia.