Mozambique: Renamo Gunmen Close 41 Schools in Manica

Attacks by gunmen of the rebel movement Renamo have led to the closure of 41 schools in the central Mozambican province of Manica, according to provincial governor Alberto Mondlane.

Speaking on Friday, in the provincial capital, Chimoio, during the inauguration of a brand new primary school which can cater for 300 pupils, Mondlane said that the schools forced to close are in Manica, Barue and Mossurize districts, and the Renamo actions have prevented about 18,000 children from continuing their studies.

The teachers and administrative staff at these schools have fled from the unsafe areas and have sought security in towns and cities.

Mondlane urged Renamo to abandon armed violence. The use of guns was no solution, he said, and merely delayed the country’s development.

“The children want to study”, he said. “The people want to work. They want to go to their fields, produce food and go about their normal business. The nurses want to treat sick people. Renamo should stop attacking vehicles, stop killing innocents and learn that dialogue is the best way out for effective peace”.

“We want them to come out of the bush, to join us and send their children to school to be trained and to contribute to the development of the country”, declared the governor. “That is our greatest appeal to them”.

Mozambicans are by nature hard working, Mondlane added, but they need peace in order to fight against poverty.

The government, he said, remains open to solving Renamo’s concerns through dialogue. That was why President Filipe Nyusi had repeatedly invited Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama for a face-to-face meeting, so far without success.

“What we note is a lack of interest on the part of Renamo and its leader”, said Mondlane. “So they are continuing to cause mourning among the communities. Even so, we are working to attain concord between the parties, and return to healthy co-existence among Mozambicans”.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique