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FILE: Ivone Soares. [File photo: Voa Portugues]
Renamo’s Chief Whip Ivone Soares denies any involvement in the financing of guerrillas from Mariano Nhongo’s self-proclaimed Military Junta, which has claimed responsibility for attacks in central Mozambique.
“Whenever I was involved in military affairs it was solely and exclusively to seek peace for Mozambique,” says Ivone Soares. “Why would I want war in Mozambique today if I have neither wanted nor engaged in any war action?”
Soares’s reaction comes after two alleged members of the Military Junta presented by the police told the press on Thursday that the group was supported by deputies from the opposition party.
“The support we had to recruit young people to take to the bush came from Manuel Bissopo, Elias Dhlakama, Sandula, Muchanga, Ivone Soares… who wanted to protect us and pay us a salary,” said Carlos Leão, one of the detainees presented in Quelimane, capital of Zambezia province.
Another detainee, António Bissopo, cousin of the former Renamo Secretary General, said he learned from Leão that “the support comes from deputies”. The two are among the group of six individuals the Mozambican police presented as recruiters of the Nhongo Military Junta.
Nhongo wants to talk to Nyusi
Far from being involved in the Military Junta, Ivone Soares said she tried to bring Mariano Nhongo and Ossufo Momade closer together, but without success.
“At the request of my party leader, General Ossufo Momade, I made contact with General Nhongo to see if there was [any] understanding, but he categorically said that he did not want to negotiate with the Renamo party of Ossufo Momade,” Soares said.
Nhongo, the deputy recalls, said “he wanted to make direct contact with the President of the Republic, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi”.
Earlier in the insurgency, Nhongo said he did not recognise the authority of Ossufo Momade, who replaced Afonso Dhlakama.
Attacks on civilian and military targets in the central region of the country intensified after the October 15 elections.
Recently, Filipe Nyusi ordered the Defense and Security Forces to hunt down and capture the perpetrators, promising to hold them and their masterminds criminally accountable, even if they are in the city.
Source: Voa Portugues