Unrest threatens Moz demining target

2014-04-01 07:46

(http://www.shutterstock.com )

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

Maputo - Mozambique will likely miss a deadline to rid the country of landmines laid during the bloody civil war due to skirmishes between the army and former rebels, an official said on Monday.

Mozambique was supposed to clear the last tracts of mined land by the end of this year, but clashes between government forces and the revived Renamo rebel movement could make that impossible.

"Without a ceasefire I don't think we will reach [the target], because we cannot jeopardise [our staff]," Alberto Augusto, the director of Mozambique's National Demining Institute told AFP.

The country halted demining in central province Sofala late last year, after several personnel were injured during ambushes by armed gunmen loyal to Renamo - a former rebel group that also acts as the main opposition party.

Parts of Mozambique are still littered with landmines, a legacy of the war for independence against Portugal up to 1974 and the 16-year civil war that killed nearly a million people before it ended in 1992.

The impoverished southern African country - which measures just shy of 800 000 square kilometres - was one of the most heavily mined in the world.

The government, with the help of international donors, says it can clear 9 000 square kilometres a year.

Peace talks

Only around 3 000 square kilometres still needs to be cleared in Sofala - about two-thirds of the total, according to Augusto.

But progress has been threatened by attacks on the highway running through the province.

In October 2012, Renamo, under its leader Afonso Dhlakama, returned to the bush and undertook fresh training for guerrilla fighters, often staging deadly attacks.

The group demands a greater inclusion in the Frelimo-led government and an overhaul of electoral laws.

No agreement is in sight despite over a year of peace talks, but Augusto said the demining organisation could still meet its deadline if the two parties reached a peace deal before May.

As a signatory to the Ottawa Convention that banned the use of anti-personnel land mines in 1999, Mozambique was initially supposed to complete demining by 2009.

That deadline was later extended to end-2014.

Mozambique will host 161 countries for a third review of the Ottawa Convention in June.
Read more on:    renamo  |  afonso dhlakama  |  mozambique  |  southern africa
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

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.