New riots brewing in Mozambique

2010-09-05 13:46

Maputo - Mozambique police were on alert on Sunday after days of riots over food prices, as calls for renewed protests were circulated via cellphone SMSes.

While calm prevailed in capital Maputo after the recent unrest, the anonymous messages urged people to resume demonstrations on Monday.

"We are prepared, in terms of the force that is on the ground to control the situation. We will continue to monitor the situation," said Silvia Mahumane, a Maputo police spokesperson.

"The situation is calm now. There were no incidents reported in connection with the unrest," Mahumane said.


On Wednesday, riots erupted in Maputo and surrounding areas as people blocked the roads with burning tyres, in protest at high fuel and food prices.

Rioting spread to several towns in central parts of the country, resulting is deadly clashes with the police.

Ten people were left dead and over 400 injured before an uneasy calm returned on Saturday.

"Tomorrow we will take preventative measures so that we are not taken by surprise if violence starts again," said Americo Ubisse, who heads the Red Cross operation in the country.

"Even today teams are ready," he added.

On Saturday, markets and shops around the city re-opened for the first time as people rushed to stock up on food commodities.

In 2008, similar riots paralysed the poor southern African country where six people were killed in protests against a public transport fare increase.