Mozambique army destroys Renamo bases as talks continue

2016-10-21 15:15
Afonso Dhlakama (Picture: AFP)

Afonso Dhlakama (Picture: AFP)

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Maputo — Security forces in Mozambique have revealed that they have devised a strategy to “knock out” opposition National Resistance Movement rebels from their bases. 

Spokesperson for the General Command of the Mozambican police Inacio Dina disclosed the strategy after government forces dismantled two bases of the Renamo rebels in Zambezia and Nampula provinces this week.

According to Dina, government forces have now started to launch attacks on the rebel bases instead of simply defending civilians and conducting military escorts of convoys as was the case in the past.

He said since it was the responsibility of the defence and security forces to maintain public order, security and tranquility throughout Mozambique, offensive attacks of rebel bases were a new strategy.

“We have already dismantled and occupied some of the positions and bases of the Renamo armed bandits”, Dina was quoted by state-owned Mozambican news agency, AIM as saying.

He said that the military and the police would continue with military assaults on Renamo bases as a preventative strategy aimed at disabling Renamo militia from spreading insecurity.

 “The offensive will continue because our ambition is that all hideouts, bases and camps for armed bandits are destroyed,” Dina said.

Peace talks

While government and rebel forces were exchanging gunfire in rural provinces, negotiations between the two sides resumed in Maputo on Tuesday this week.

The talks were continuing despite the murder of Renamo mediator Jeremias Pondeca on October 9.

The murder was the latest in a series of political assassinations, which many observers allegedly attributed to members of the secret services.

Meanwhile, the leader of international mediators Mario Raffaelli has said the best way to pay homage to Pondeca would be to end the hostilities.

Attempts to organise direct talks between President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama were failing to materialise.

According to Dhlakama it was not necessary to organise face-to-face discussions between him and Nyusi when negotiations were  under way.

“I organised a team, and President Nyusi also has a team, and they are negotiating in Maputo, in the presence of international mediators. I don't think it's important that Nyusi and Dhlakama, two people, have to meet to negotiate on their own, because this country does not belong to Nyusi or to Dhlakama”, he said recently. 

Read more on:    renamo  |  filipe nyusi  |  afonso dhlakama  |  mozambique  |  southern africa

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