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The number of people entering and leaving Mozambique during the 2016-17 festive season fell sharply in comparison with the two previous years.
The authorities had launched “Operation Salama” on 14 December to ensure a peaceful environment over the holiday period. This operation came to an end on Monday, and in the closing ceremony, held in Boane, about 30 kilometers west of Maputo, the General Director of Mozambican Customs, Aly Mala, said that about 400,000 people, and 116,000 vehicles had crossed the country’s borders during this period.
This is less than half the 900,000 people whom the immigration authorities had expected to cross the borders.
Over the same period in the 2015-16 festive season, 690,000 people entered or left the country, and the previous years the figure was about 700,000. The decline between 2015-1 and 2016-17 was 42 per cent.
Cited in Tuesday’s issue of the independent newssheet “Mediafax”, Mala blamed this sharp reduction on the international financial situation, and on the insurrection by the Renamo rebel movement.
Certainly the depreciation of the Mozambican currency, the metical, would have discouraged Mozambicans from leaving the country during the festive season, and foreign tourists may well have been discouraged by the ambushes staged by Renamo on some of the main roads in the centre of the country (even though these were not near the main tourist resorts). The announcement by Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, on 27 December, of a truce came too late for people who had already made their holiday plans.
As for public order during the festive period, the commander of public order and security in the police force, Xavier Tocoli, told the ceremony this had been the calmest Christmas and New Year period for several years, and there had been no significant disturbances.Source: AIM