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Young members of the Quelimane carnival party groups rioted on Wednesday in front of the municipal council building in protest at the postponement of the event. The carnival parade would have run from 17 to 26 this month, but has been postponed due to the three-day mourning period decreed for the victims of the boat sinking that occurred on the river Chipaca on February 12.
The protesters claim that the postponement of the carnival will harm them financially, as they have already spent a lot of money in preparation for the celebration.
“We contracted many debts in the neighbourhood, trusting that the amount that would be paid by the municipality. With this delay we don’t know how we will pay off the debts. We have a reputation in the neighbourhood,” Novos Talentos group representative José Pedro said.
The demonstrators also complain that the municipality did not talk to them before taking the decision. The mayor of Quelimane, Manuel de Araújo, meanwhile says that the demonstrators are being insensitive to the pain of others.
“Maybe the people who are protesting the postponement of the carnival did not lose any relatives. If they had lost a son, a wife or a husband they would not be protesting against the postponement of the carnival. In 2015 there were floods throughout the country, there was loss of human lives, we kept the carnival. But we get a lot of criticism on social networks and on the streets. It was said that Quelimane municipality was insensitive to the suffering of others. Now that we are acting in solidarity with the victims of the sinking, we are also being criticized and harassed,” he said.
The Municipal Council of Quelimane has now begun a process of dialogue with the groups participating in the carnival.Source: O País