Good news for travellers: No more troop-guarded convoys in Mozambique

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Maputo - It was a troubling feature of some holiday travel in Mozambique: drivers on three stretches of road in the violence-riddled centre of the country were forced to join military-escorted convoys with the ever-present threat of attack.

But following the announcement of an extended truce between Renamo rebels and the Frelimo government, there will be no more convoys - at least for now, according to the Portuguese news agency Lusa.

Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama on Tuesday announced a two-month extension to a seven-day truce in hostilities, which had threatened to drag this southern African country back to the civil war that raged here for 20 years.

For months now drivers and holidaymakers had to join military escorted "convoys" on two stretches of road in Sofala province and a third road going northwards from Manica province to Tete. Amid a surge in tensions and some attacks on the convoys blamed on the opposition Renamo, drivers were informally urged to try to avoid travelling next to buses in these convoys, since they could be singled out for attack.

But the convoys have been "deactivated" in the last few days, Lusa reports citing police spokesperson Inacio Dina. 

Renamo considered that keeping the convoys would amount to "a provocation", said the report.

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