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File photo / PRM spokesman Inácio Dina
The Mozambican police said yesterday that they would “violently repress” disturbances of public order after three riots in different districts of Mozambique were registered in the last 20 days.
“They are acts of savagery” in which the population attacks the authorities “with firearms, white weapons (machetes) and stones” for absurd motives, police spokesman Inácio Dina said.
“We will vigorously repress these acts with violence” and “come down hard on the perpetrators of misinformation,” he added, speaking at a press conference in Maputo.
The three riots included one reported on Oct. 2 in Mandimba, Niassa province, in which four civilians died after the police opened fire. Police would later announce they did not intend to kill the protesters.
Asked by Lusa whether there were more deaths in the incidents in question, the police spokesman said he could not answer in detail.
“Details are still to be filled in, but the main thing at the moment is not to count the number of people who died, but to look at the general scenario and respond, because it cannot proceed, it cannot go on,” he said.
Dina said the police were “using all necessary resources”, in parallel with the high degree of violence and the premeditation of the acts committed.
“There will be zero tolerance against these bad guys, harlots, vandals, misinformers and illegal protesters,” he said.
Dina said the first riot occurred in the Memba district of Nampula province, northern Mozambique, where people marched on the judiciary to protest against the release of people whom they considered responsible for the spread of cholera.
“In Memba, the police were forced to fire tear gas to restore order,” he said, associating the case with “unsubstantiated superstitions.”
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The second case, he continued, occurred in Mandimba, Niassa province, also in the north, on October 2, where people also marched to the facilities of the district commander of the PRM to demand the clarification of a crime.
The incident attracted media attention because the police agents who opened fire to dispel the crowd killed four people. This resulted in the vandalising of the district command and the commander’s house and other equipment.
In Gilé district, Zambézia, central Mozambique, a crowd burned down the administrator’s residence and vandalised several public buildings early yesterday. The administrator was evacuated to a neighbouring district for his own safety.
The uprising was prompted by rumours that the authorities were giving asylum to “blood-suckers” – individuals equipped with instruments to draw blood from residents in their sleep, a persistent superstition in various parts of the country.
“These manifestations of disorder, disrespect, illegal demonstrations and affront to the institutions of sovereignty are something we discourage and, from now on, will not tolerate,” Dina concluded.Source: Lusa
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