Moz's Renamo 'scattered and ready to attack'

2013-10-22 12:47
Fighters of former Mozambican rebel movement Renamo receiving military training. (Jinty Jackson, AFP)

Fighters of former Mozambican rebel movement Renamo receiving military training. (Jinty Jackson, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Maputo - Mozambican ex-rebel group Renamo staged a pre-dawn attack on a police station Tuesday, hours after it declared the end of a peace deal signed 21 years ago, locals said.

Police fled the station in the central town of Maringue when Renamo members opened fire on it, escalating hostilities between the rebel group-turned-opposition party and the government of ruling party Frelimo, the group against which Renamo fought a bloody 16-year civil war.

"Gunmen attacked the police station but fortunately there were no casualties because the policemen fled the post," Maringue's administrator Antonio Absalao told AFP by phone.

The town is located about 35km from Renamo's military base, which government troops seized on Monday in an operation the ex-rebels claimed was aimed at killing their leader, Afonso Dhlakama.

"The situation is horrible here. Early this morning, armed men supposed to be Renamo attacked, and it was a mess," said Romao Martins, a local teacher.

"For one hour shooting could be heard from all directions and people fled from their homes," he said.

Schools have been shut amid fears of an escalation in violence.

A Renamo spokesperson hinted that the group was responsible for the attack.

"The president of Renamo has lost control of the situation and you cannot blame... [him] for what happens from here on," Renamo's Fernando Mazanga told AFP.

Tensions

"The guerrillas are scattered and will attack without taking any orders," said Mazanga.

Renamo, which launched a rebellion against the then-communist Frelimo government after Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975, declared on Monday that it had pulled out of the peace agreement that ended that conflict.

Mazanga said on Monday's attack on its base "marks the end of multiparty democracy" in Mozambique.

The Mozambique civil war, which ended in 1992 after Renamo lost its Cold War backers Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa, killed about one million Mozambicans.

Tensions between the two sides began escalating last year after Dhlakama set up camp in the Gorongosa mountains, retraining former guerrilla fighters.

The assault on the Renamo base came after the former rebel movement attacked a government military unit on Thursday.

Defence ministry spokesman Custodio Chume told state broadcaster Radio Mozambique that Monday's assault on the Renamo base was in response to that attack.

Read more on:    frelimo  |  renamo  |  mozambique  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
11 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.