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More Fighting Erupts in Mozambique

Renamo soldiersFresh fighting has erupted in Mozambique between government troops and members of Renamo, a former rebel group that recently withdrew from a peace deal.

Twenty-one years after a peace settlement ended a civil war that had plagued the country for a decade and a half after independence, the former rebel group Renamo has come in for harsh criticism for pulling out of the peace accord and returning to the bush. Most analysts do not believe the war will resume but some are urging the ruling Frelimo Party to undertake reforms that promote inclusion in political processes.

 Army Raids More Renamo Hideouts

According to Zimbabwe Herald, the Mozambican Defense Ministry announced on Monday that the armed forces (FADM) have knocked out a major base of the former rebel movement, Renamo, in the central district of Maringue.

The assistant national director of defense policy in the ministry, Col. Manuel Mazuze, told reporters that the FADM had reacted on Monday morning to an ambush by Renamo gunmen elsewhere in Maringue district. They pursued the group right to the base that the army then “deactivated.”  This is the same base that was Renamo headquarters during the closing years of the war of destabilization.

The army overran a Renamo base in Sofala, on Tuesday as well. The Mozambican television showed pictures of abandoned huts, weapons, chairs, tables among other items.

According to local media, the people abandoned their homes during the clashes, which left two militants killed. Joaquim Nido with Sofala police command said that two government troops were also wounded.

Tension continues in the central districts of Maringue and Muxungue, the scene of clashes in May this year in which five riot police and several Renamo fighters were killed. The army has been escorting vehicles passing through the region, the reports say.

Renamo Head of Mobilization Dies

Renamo has stated that its head of mobilization, Armindo Milaco, has died of wounds sustained in the clash when the Mozambican armed forces occupied the Renamo base at Satunjira.

The spokesperson for Renamo, Arnaldo Chalaua, cited by the news agency Lusa, said that he had only learned of the death of Milaco, who was also a parliamentary deputy, on Oct. 25.

Chalaua said  Milaco’s death was “a great loss” for Renamo and for the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic. Milaco had been a member of the assembly’s management board.


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