No Renamo attempt to govern, but attacks increase
Renamo head Afonso Dhlakama admits there has been no attempt to launch Renamo governments in six provinces, as he promised to do this month (March). In an interview in Canal de Mocambique (30 Mar) he blamed an unexpectedly strong government military resistance. He admitted what he claimed 4500 soldiers and "death squads" were enough to stop him. He again promised to take power, "soon". But faced with government military power, Renamo is returning to attacking road traffic.
Dhlakama also confirmed he had rejected the proposed mediation of Mario Raffaeli, the lead Italian mediator in 1990-92. But he said he would accept Italian government mediation.
Heavily armed police raided the Renamo national office and two houses of Afonso Dhalkama in Maputo Sunday (27 March).
Renamo on Monday 28 March attacked a government motorcade of dozens of vehicles on the main N7 road in Nhamatema, Honde, Barue district, Manica. Three police were injured. The delegation headed by Provincial Labour Director Mouzinho Carlos was returning from celebrations of the 99th anniversary of the Barue revolt against Portuguese colonial rule. The Barue attack was the fifth in a month.
AIM (25 Mar) reports that a journalist from the German broadcaster DW said that on 23 March the bus he was travelling in, belonging to the private company Nagi Investments, came under fire on the N1 between Muxungue and the Save river, where traffic moves in conveys under armed escort. Two people suffered bullet wounds but no-one was killed.
Renamo dug three trenches across the main N1 road on the stretch between the Save river and Muxungue to slow down the convoys under armed escort. This is the third time Renamo has dug trenches across the road. The first was during the 1980-92 war when Renamo halted all road traffic between Maputo and Beira. Renamo cut trenches in the same place during attacks in 2013-14. As by 29 March 2016, neither the roads administration nor the army tried to move it, apparently fearing it was a trap set by Renamo forces waiting to attack anyone who tried to move the tree. But traffic was able to move slowly around the end of the tree without any attacks.
Renamo fighters forced four trucks carrying maize from northern Mozambique to the drought stricken south to turn back. The drivers said Renamo gunmen had stopped the trucks on the N1 in Muxungue, Sofala, and threatened to kill the drivers unless they turned round and drove the trucks back Nampula. (AIM En 25 Mar)
(Joseph Hanlon, edited by SADOCC)