Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tensions Escalate in Mozambique: RENAMO Rejects Peace Accord

Moza Renamo MP ‘killed’ in raid on military base

October 26, 2013

MAPUTO. — Mozambique’s former rebel movement Renamo said yesterday one of its lawmakers was killed in a raid on its military base by government troops earlier in the week.

The statement came after Renamo, which fought a bloody civil war against the ruling Frelimo party before transforming into a political party, declared that a 1992 peace deal was over.

Renamo said the assault Monday on its base in central Mozambique amounted to an attack by the government on multiparty democracy.
“Our colleague Armindo Milaco died as a result of government forces’ attack on our leader’s base on 21 October,” Renamo spokesman Fernando Mazanga told AFP.

“He was hit by a howitzer.”

The party only learnt of Milaco’s death yesterday because communication had been difficult, it said.

Rebels reportedly from the former rebel movement attacked a nearby police station the day after the attack, which kicked off a spate of tit-for-tat violence.

Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama last November returned to his bush camp near the central Gorongosa mountains and started retraining soldiers for a “revolution”, without making clear his intentions.

Dhlakama fled ahead of Monday’s attack and is hiding at an undisclosed location.

Over the last six months Renamo militants have clashed sporadically with government forces and attacked civilian vehicles on the main north-south highway.

Renamo took up arms against the then-communist government of Frelimo — the Mozambique Liberation Front — after independence from Portugal in 1975.

It became the official opposition party after the 1992 peace agreement, but has lost every national election ever since.

Officially Renamo is demanding a bigger role in electoral bodies and its fighters’ integration into the government forces. But more than 20 rounds of talks with Frelimo over the past 10 months have stalled with little progress. The party is boycotting upcoming local polls on November 20 after refusing to register until electoral reforms are passed.

— AFP.

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