Mozambique: Third-largest party wants state of war declaration for Cabo Delgado - report
File photo: Lusa
It is total pursuit. Renamo’s notorious General Mariano Nhongo, who heads a small armed faction of the party, is the target of an unprecedented search by the Mozambican government’s Defence and Security Forces, ‘Carta’ has learned from sources linked to military intelligence. “Nhongo is wanted, dead or alive. And, sooner or later, that goal will be achieved,” the anonymous source discloses.
The current location of Nhongo and his group is unknown. A source close to the Renamo military wing yesterday told ‘Carta’ that the rebel general is no longer in Sofala province, where Renamo has always maintained its central bases, specifically in the Gorongosa mountain range, where Nhongo announced his defection, accusing Ossufo Momade, by then leader of Afonso Dhlakama’s party, of having “betrayed” the party for his own benefit by signing a peace agreement – or rather, surrender – with the government.
The search for Nhongo is being pursued everywhere in Mozambique, one source said. In addition to Sofala, Renamo has in recent years maintained operatives in the remote northern regions of Inhambane, the Morrumbala region (Zambezia) and Tete (where one of the sons of André Matsangaíssa, Renamo founder, who is part of Nhongo’s group, operated). Just under three weeks ago, a ‘Carta’ reporter in Morrumbala witnessed massive concentrations of soldiers patrolling the region.
The Renamo dissident group has been accused by the Mozambican police of being responsible for the attacks on civilian vehicles in central Mozambique, which began shortly after the end of the election period and have already caused 10 deaths and heavy damage to property. Nhongo has always denied the charge, blaming Ossufo Momade, who likewise denies any involvement in the atrocities.
On a visit to Manica on the 15th of this month, President Nyusi announced the beginning of a concentrated search for the attackers, with the aim of holding them “criminally accountable”. “Nobody will confess to being involved. Since nobody wants to take responsibility [for the attacks], we have advised the Defence Forces to persecute these people for accountability,” President Nyusi said, adding that “there is no room for war” in Mozambique. Rumours recently circulating of Nhongo’s capture have not been shown to be well founded.
“Carta” has tried unsuccessfully to reach Nhongo by telephone using the same number via which it was able to interview him on the eve of the election, but he is out of range.Source: Carta de Moçambique
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