Mozambique: Renamo Opens Fire On Government Convoy in Manica

Maputo – Gunmen of the Mozambican rebel movment Renamo on Monday attacked a delegation of the Manica provincial government in the Nhamtema area of Barue district.

The delegation was travelling from the town of Catandica to the Manica provincial capital, Chimoio. The area where it was attacked has been the scene of at least three earlier ambushes.

The most senior figure in the delegation was the Provincial Director of Labour, Mouzinho Carlos, who had represented provincial governor Alberto Mondlane at celebrations earlier in the day in Catanica of the 99th anniversary of the Barue revolt against Portuguese colonial rule.

The ambush occurred at about 16.00, when the delegation was returning to Chimoio. There were dozens of vehicles in the convoy, which was under police escort.

The attackers opened fire as the convoy was passing through a village on a dangerous curve in the road. Villagers panicked and fled from their homes and stalls into the bush. Normal traffic along the road, which links Chimoio to the western city of Tete, was re-established an hour later.

Information received by AIM indicates that some people in the convoy were injured, and received medical treatment at the Manica Provincial Hospital in Chimoio. The police have not issued any figures on the number of people wounded, but promised to speak to the press on Tuesday.

In the neighbouring provinc of Sofala, Renamo has dug trenches across the main north-south road on the stretch between the Save river and the small town of Muxungue, thus slowing down the convoys under armed escort which use this road.

According to a report carried by the Portuguese news agency Lusa, citing eye witnesses, three craters have been dug across the road.

A truck driver said this made driving along this stretch of the highway even more difficult and dangerous.

The Save-Muxungue stretch of the road has come unde repeated attack from Renamo gangs since mid-February.

This is the third time Renamo has dug trenches across the road. The first occasion was during the war of destabilisation, when Renamo succeeded in halting all overland traffic between Maputo and Beira for a period of about 12 years. Renamo used the same tactic during its mini-insurrection in Sofala in 2013-14.

Source: All Africa