Mozambique: Police announce arrest of Renamo Military Junta recruiters - AIM
Photo: O País
Orlando Mudumane , the spokesperson for the General Command of the Mozambican police, claimed at a Wednesday press briefing in Maputo that the police have arrested four people on suspicion of involvement in ambushes against vehicles in the central provinces of Sofala and Manica.
In the space of a week there have been three ambushes on the main north south road (EN1) in Sofala, resulting in the deaths of five people, two of them policemen.
Mudumane gave no details about the four men arrested, and insisted that the attacks were carried out by “armed men of Renamo”. He noted they were wearing green uniforms – the same kind of uniform used by the Renamo militia.
He drew no distinction between that faction of Renamo loyal to the party’s leader and presidential candidate, Ossufo Momade, and those who follow the breakaway “Renamo Military Junta” under Mariano Nhongo.
“Nhongo is a member of Renamo”, he said. “The other men who have been attacking are also from Renamo”.
This approach makes little sense, since Nhongo has publicly broken with Momade, calling him “a traitor”, and proclaiming himself the new President of Renamo.
Mudumane guaranteed that security measures are being strengthened, not only on the roads of Manica and Sofala, but also in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, where an insurgency, apparently inspired by Islamic fundamentalism, has been under way since October 2017.
“In the regions where attacks have occurred, both in the north of Cabo Delgado, and in Sofala and Manica, several units of the defence and security forces have been stationed to strengthen our operational lines”, he said. “They are there working to fight against, repel and neutralise the criminals”.
Mudumane guaranteed that, despite the recent attacks, it is safe to travel on the roads in the central provinces
“We want to reassure the Mozambican population that it is possible to travel on EN1 and EN6 (the Beira-Zimbabwe highway)”, he said. “There’s intensive and ostensive patrolling to inhibit the perpetration of these attacks by Renamo”.
Bus companies are sceptical about such words. Companies that provide interprovincial passenger transport report that the number of people travelling by road from Maputo to the centre and north of the country has declined sharply. Potential passengers are unwilling to make the journey through Sofala, if they fear that they will be shot at.
Mudumane also denied a report that on Sunday the Cabo Delgado insurgents killed 20 members of the defence and security forces in an ambush.
He said there was a lot of information circulating on social media alleging attacks “but the police does not confirm their veracity”.
“Unfortunately, much of this information is given by people who do not know the reality of the facts that are happening in these conflict zones”, he added.
In fact, the report of the ambush was carried by the independent newssheet “Carta de Mocambique”, which has generally reliable sources in Cabo Delgado.Source: AIM
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