Mozambique burning

MAPUTO - Mozambique's former rebel group Renamo says it has annulled a 1992 peace deal that ended a 16-year civil war after clashes with government forces.

A Defence ministry spokesperson said government forces had attacked a Renamo base in Sathundjira, near Gorongosa in central Mozambique, on Monday.

The operation comes after Renamo mounted attacks on police positions in the same area.

The fighting has damaged the decades old peace-deal between the Mozambique Liberation Front, also known as Frelimo, which has lead government since independence in 1975, and the Renamo movement, which is now an official opposition group.

A Renamo spokesperson said the aim of the attack on its base was to kill its leader.

“Today, the Frelimo-government used troops and heavy artillery to attack the residence of the Renamo president, Afonso Dhlakama, to kill him in cold blood,” Fernando Mazanga said.

“The taking of President Dhlakama’s base by the special forces marks the end of multiparty democracy.

“This irresponsible attitude of the commander-in-chief of the country’s security forces (President Armando Guebuza) signals the end of the Rome Peace accord.”

Karl Sousa, a Mozambican journalist, told Al Jazeera that the whereabouts of Dhlakama were not known.

He said though the rebels lacked the capacity to engage government troops, they could resort to carrying out attacks against civilians.

Tensions between Renamo and the Frelimo-led government started escalating last year, after the group’s leader Dhlakama set up camp in the Gorongosa mountains to retrain former guerrilla fighters.

The former rebels have been demanding the government renegotiate the terms of a 1992 peace accord.

Renamo became the official opposition after it signed a peace deal with the Frelimo-led government to end a 16-year civil war in 1992. But in April this year simmering tensions erupted in deadly clashes again.

The movement wants more representation on election bodies and in the armed forces.

Comments (12)

Without knowing the full import of the quarrel it becomes difficult to tell where to apportion blame. That said, Mr. Dhlakama is just sabre rattling with this nonsense and he knows this. His project will simply end up where it started ie in the ground. There are various avenues he could have employed to get government to listen to his demands not this idiotic violent foray which has the net effect of destroying the veneer of respectability it had earned for itself..Frankly this is STUPID and stated it above it will end in tears, his. He can try these Joseph Kony Tomfooleries or Savimbi twaddle with the same result..This script is known and only an ugly result is all he will get for his labours.

gutter poet - 23 October 2013

I'll bet it's six of one and half a dozen of the other. All African states suffer misrule and the one in the southern half will not tolerate an opposition in the western sense

Umvhu - 23 October 2013

"The veneer of respectability ". I would have thought that respectability is made of real solid substance and not merely a veneer!!! A veneer being a very thin covering layer.

stephen - 23 October 2013

A sad development for Southern Africa in general and Mozambique in particular. People should learn to negotiate and not resort to this barbaric way of settling issues. The likes of Dhlakama must never be allowed to do as they please destroying their own countries. He must not be allowed to survive even for the nxt second. The whole world must fight this power hungry imbecile.

Jabu - 23 October 2013

To Jabu holding a gun is also some kind of negotiation in case you did not know. The issue is about inclusiveness or the lack of it on the part of the Mozambican government. The same way apartheid Rhodesia and South Africa sought to exclude all blacks in government.

gilert magwasha - 23 October 2013

Regai tione chimbwa chisina meno SADC chichadii choda kuzovanga ropa roerera

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 23 October 2013

Thats the way to go Matsanga from 1992 you tried talking and they never listened to you, now that you are using force of arms someone is bound to engage positively. Until the basic human rights are guaranteed to all without regard to party affiliation, then let there be war. This time without Zim interference Frelimo is history.

tsoka - 23 October 2013

too bad, for a country which on paper is doing well. Frelimo is a bunch of crap the leaders are power hungry and only focus on their wealth , the problem however is TOOTHLESS S.A.D.C , i'm certain they are fully aware of whats happening here in Moz. My hope is Renamo doesn't aim at Civilians keep it there at the Police Station soon or later Arrogant Frelimo will wake up

Mumosken - 24 October 2013

All comments above seems coming from youngsters. RENAMO was formed by Rhodesian initial to fight the Mozambique government so that it would be unable to support ZANLA Forces. RENAMO was funded by all reactionary forces to the liberation of Africa and of Zimbabwe in particular. With the fall of Smith RENAMO then changed into distabilization arm of colonialists - particularly the ones who dreamed of one managing to resurrect into power in Zimbabwe. The strong hand of SADC being spear-headed by Zimbabwe checked RENAMO in its tracks forcing it to agree to peace. SADC should respond swiftly and Zimbabwe in particular is threatened its security - should immediately take action. Not half action but full military action without further a do!

dungas - 24 October 2013

Ngatimbova siyai vapedzerane kana zvazoipa tozo pindirawo. tichibatsira ma civilians, kwete kuurayana, Renamo is not very strong to unseat frelimo.

berto - 24 October 2013

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Long Term - 24 October 2013

Zanu is trying to coax Renamo. They want to invade Mozambique in the name of security. Always remember Westgate Mall in Kenya.

Mavara Azarevhu - 24 October 2013

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