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DW / Mozambique’s Garagwa region
Despite the truce declared between the Frelimo Government and the largest opposition party, Renamo, in May, insecurity in Mossurize has led several people to leave their homes.
Manica was one of the main stages of the recent armed conflict in Mozambique, but normality appeared to be returning to the province after an indefinite truce was declared in May following contacts between the opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama and the country’s President Filipe Nyusi.
But residents of the Mossurize region now accuse armed Renamo men of ongoing persecution and extortion.
No signs of peace
The Nhabanga region’s ‘régulo’ [traditional chief], Patson Sithole, says he has been forced to leave his jurisdiction for fear for his own safety, and that Afonso Dhlakama’s men have been demanding cash payments and stealing heads of cattle from the population.
“We are asking the government to dispatch a police contingent to camp at one of the schools here, as well as the border guards from Macú. Together they can keep an eye on the area, but we do not see it so far” Sithole said.
Garagwa resident Nowa Filimone accuses Renamo’s armed men of creating disorder in the area, leading to the 32-year-old woman and her family leaving everything behind and taking refuge in Chiurairwe.
“In our area, some of our brothers do not want welfare, but the issue of a truce has come to all Mozambicans, not just to a particular region, because the others say there is no truce,” she says.
Nowa also says that 53 head of cattle had been taken by people who are not observing the truce. “They come and pluck our goods by force, tormenting us with guns,” she says.
Negotiations continue. And move on
Manica provincial governor Alberto Ricardo Mondlane says that the authorities are aware of the situation. In an interview with DW Africa, he said that the Government was working with Renamo officials to end the climate of insecurity in that part of the district.
“We are aware [of the situation] and we have been working, in particular, with the people in charge of Renamo, in the sense that they take a positive attitude to prevent their men from harming the population. I can say that we are establishing today a much better relationship, compared to the past,” the governor said.
Mondlane asked the Renamo men in Manica to follow the example set by the leaders of both the government and the largest opposition party.
“The two presidents, Afonso Dhlakama and Filipe Nyusi, are working hard for peace in Mozambique. Now, why are we here in Chiurairwe still confused? Let us follow the example of our bosses!”
“I’m asking Renamo members to let the people go farm in peace. Do not arrest anyone. That’s not right,” Mondlane said.
DW Africa tried unsuccessfully to contact the Renamo delegate in the Manica district to get a response to the allegations of the public and the provincial authorities.Source: Deutsche Welle