Renamo and police clash in Tete

The Mozambican rebel movement Renamo on Tuesday claimed that one of its military bases was attacked by government forces in the western province of Tete – but the police say it was Renamo who opened fire without provocation.

Renamo spokesperson Antonio Muchanga
Renamo spokesperson Antonio Muchanga

Renamo spokesperson Antonio Muchanga called a press conference to announce the alleged attack, which he said occurred on Sunday at Mucumbedzi, in the Zobwe administrative post, near the border with Malawi.

He claimed some of those involved had been killed or injured in the operation, but gave no details.

Muchanga said that two truckloads of soldiers and a Land Cruiser with a mounted machine gun attacked what he called a “Renamo barracks” in Mucumbedzi. He alleged that in the clash the Land Cruiser was destroyed.

Muchanga claimed that this incident was causing “agitation” among Renamo’s military wing. “The patience of the Renamo commanders is running out”, he said.

He added that Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama has asked the government to restrain its forces in the interests of peace.

Muchanga said there had also been an attack by government forces on Thursday in Funhalouro district, in the southern province of Inhambane, “but there were no clashes because the Renamo guerrillas managed to evade the attackers”.

But the Mozambican police have a completely different account of what happened in Tete. According to the spokesperson for the general command of the police, Pedro Cossa, speaking to reporters on Tuesday, at his weekly press briefing, it was Renamo who attacked the police, not the other way round.

He said the police unit concerned had been carrying supplies to a police post in the Tete interior. On its return it came under fire, and two of the policemen were hit.

“Armed men, who are as yet unidentified, fired against our colleagues”, said Cossa, “Two of them were injured, one of whom lost his life on the way to hospital”.

“Our men were driving along the public highway and they were attacked by armed men as they were moving”, he declared.

Cossa agreed with Muchanga that the attack took place on Sunday – but he put it in a different part of the province. He said the police came under fire at Xibabhehi, in Tsangano district. This is near Zobue, so there can be little doubt that the two accounts are referring to the same incident.

Post published in: Africa News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *