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The head of the parliamentary group of Mozambique’s main opposition party, Renamo, Ivone Soares, has denied claims that she is financing or giving instructions to the self-styled “Renamo Military Junta”.
The allegation against Soares came from Carlos Leao, head of a group of six supporters of the Junta captured by the police in the central province of Zambezia. Leao told reporters that he had received instructions from the commander of the Junta, Mariano Nhongo, to return to his home province of Zambezia to recruit young Mozambicans into the ranks of the Junta’s supporters.
They were to reactivate Renamo bases in Zambezia and undertake armed attacks, like those currently under way in Sofala and Manica provinces. Leao claimed that supporters of the Junta include senior members of the Renamo parliamentary group, including Ivone Soares, former Renamo general secretary Manuel Bissopo, and the Renamo candidate for governor of Maputo province in the recent elections, Antonio Muchanga.
Leao also attempted to implicate Elias Dhlakama, the younger brother of the late Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, the mayor of the central city of Quelimane, Manuel de Araujo, and the former Renamo delegate in Beira, Sandura Ambrosio (who is not even a member of Renamo anymore, but defected to join the Mozambique Democratic Movement, MDM).
Speaking at a press conference in Maputo on Friday, Soares denied the accusations. “I do not finance or give orders to the Junta, or to any other movement, military or unarmed, which puts at risk the peace I have worked so hard to win”, she said.
She added that there are people, perhaps even inside Renamo, who are unhappy at her prominence and her efforts to secure peace.
Soares added that it never even occurred to her to finance, or give instructions, to a group carrying out military actions. The accusation against her was serious “and I am disturbed to hear my name mixed up with actions against the security of the country”, she said.
She called for an investigation to ascertain who is responsible for what she regarded as “a wave of disinformation”.
When the Junta first appeared, Soares was one of those who claimed it was “a family squabble”, which Renamo could solve internally. But since then there has been no sign that Nhongo is willing to compromise with the Renamo leadership elected at the party’s congress last January.
He has repeatedly called Renamo leader Ossufo Momade “a traitor” and has threatened to kill him. Despite Nhongo’s denials, there seems little doubt that the junta is responsible for a spate of attacks against vehicles on main roads in Manica and Sofala.Source: AIM
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