Mozambique: Situation Calm in Chiramba, Says Defence Minister

Maputo – The situation in the Chiramba administrative post, in the central Mozambican province of Sofala, is now “under control”, after an attack by gunmen of the rebel movement Renamo was repelled, according to Defence Minister Atanasio M’tumuke.

Interviewed in Thursday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”, M’tumuke said the attack on Chiramba was undertaken by no more than ten armed men, and so it was not necessary to call for back-up from the air force.

“Now there’s nothing there”, said M’tumuke. “There were five or ten members of Renamo, and now the situation is under control. We didn’t need the air force to solve the problem, because it was just half a dozen people. What remains there are our defence and security forces doing their normal work”.

Earlier accounts of this clash were that Renamo attacked and occupied a police post at Chiramba, but the police drove them out in a pre-dawn operation on Tuesday morning. There were no reports of losses on either side.

M’tumuke said the authorities’ main concern now is the Renamo attempt to prevent the movement of traffic along roads in the central province. “They are forbidding vehicles to move on the roads, but measures will be taken”, he promise.

Chiramba is on the south bank of the Zambezi river, about 50 kilometres from the district capital, Chemba town. The total population of Chiramba is about 2,650.

SOURCE: Mozambique News Agency