Clashes Worst Since Signing Peace Agreement
Tension and political violence escalated in Mazambique as deadly clashes erupted between armed members of the opposition party “RENAMO” and the Mozambican Armed Forces in the central part of the country.
Reports say the Mozambican military attacked a rebel Renamo movement bush camp, claiming 58 lives.
The RENAMO groups were once supported by the white-minority governments Zimbabwe and South Africa. The group fought for 17 years against Frelimo and served as the principal opposition party for two decades.
US Troubled By Clashes
US Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki says the United States is deeply concerned by escalating violence between armed members of the opposition party Renamo and the Mozambican Armed Forces.
“We are troubled by the confrontations in Sofala province, and the expansion of clashes beyond that region.” – Ms. Psaki
The US also said it deplores the use of violence to address political differences and called on all parties to immediately end the hostilities.
Ms. Psaki stressed the need for two parties to take decisive and visible steps to de-escalate growing tensions.
In addition, the US condemned in the strongest possible terms the reprehensible attacks on innocent civilians and offered their deepest condolences to the victims and their loved ones.
US Welcomes Calls For Dialogue From Both Camps
Ms. Psaki says the US welcomes previous public statements by representatives of the Mozambican government and Renamo calling for peaceful and constructive dialogue and urge the parties to actively pursue such talks to secure a lasting peaceful solution.
“The United States continues to encourage an environment of open political space to promote the full participation by all parties in democratic institutions and processes.” – Ms. Psaki
Ms. Psaki underlines that the United States remains an advocate for peace and prosperity in Mozambique.
The US pledges to stand by the Mozambican people, who know the value and importance of peace.
RENAMO Deadly Attacks This Year
On 6 April 2013, three civilians were killed and two women were injured when RENAMO rebels attacked a truck and a bus in Chibabava District.
On 17 October, alleged RENAMO rebels ambushed a military patrol near Gorongosa, RENAMO’s stronghold, killing seven soldiers.
On 22nd October, gunmen attacked a police station in Maringue District with no casualties reported.