News / Africa

Mozambique Army Attacks Renamo Guerrilla Camp

Mozambican government forces attacked a guerrilla camp of the Renamo opposition group in a flareup of violence ahead of local and presidential elections between former foes from the country's devastating 17-year civil war.
Sporadic bloodshed this year has raised fears that Mozambique, one of Africa's fastest-growing economies with major foreign investors developing its huge coal and natural gas deposits, could slip back into open conflict.
The latest clash occurred at the weekend in the Muxungue district of Sofala province, scene of other confrontations this year between armed supporters of Renamo chief Afonso Dhlakama and the security forces of the Frelimo government.
Dhlakama has demanded reforms, including changes to an electoral system he calls biased, from President Armando Guebuza. Local elections are to held in November with a presidential vote due in 2014 in the former Portuguese colony.
Interior Ministry spokesman Pedro Cossa told reporters in Maputo that one soldier was killed and another injured in the weekend assault on the Renamo camp at Pandje. Cossa said he had no information about Renamo casualties.
Renamo spokesman Fernando Mazanga put the government death toll at 26 and said the guerrillas had suffered no losses. He added that 37 soldiers and police were wounded.
No independent witnesses were available to reconcile the conflicting claims.
Big investors include Italy's ENI group, which said on Tuesday it had agreed to pay $400 million tax on the $4.2 billion sale of a Mozambique gas field stake to China and also build the east African country a power station.
Renamo raids in April and June in Sofala killed at least 11 soldiers and police and six civilians, forcing a temporary suspension of some coal exports to the coast by rail, reducing road traffic and causing tourist cancelations.
Renamo was formed as an anti-communist rebel group in the 1970s by the secret service of neighboring Rhodesia in retaliation for Mozambique sheltering guerrillas fighting the white-minority government of what is now Zimbabwe.
Renamo was later adopted by the apartheid-era South African military but stopped fighting under a 1992 peace pact to become Mozambique's leading opposition party.
Since 1992, Dhlakama's party has lost successive elections to Frelimo that he has attributed to fraud. Dhlakama and a group of his guerrilla veterans in October went back to his former jungle civil war base in the Gorongosa region.
He said he feared for his safety.
Cossa said government forces were trying to restore order in the wide area around Dhlakama's camp.
Both sides have said they do not want war and have continued to negotiate over Renamo's demands for a more balanced electoral body and the integration of its fighters into the army and the police.

You May Like

Video Egyptian Journalists Call for Freedom of Press

Despite release of al-Jazeera journalists and others, Egyptian Journalist Syndicate says some remain imprisoned More

Turkey Survey Indicates Traditional Distrusts, Shift to the West

Comprehensive public opinion survey also found a large majority of those interviewed distrust all countries other than country’s neighbor, Azerbaijan More

Pakistan Court Upholds Death Sentence in Blasphemy Killing

Highest court upholds sentence of Mumtaz Qadri convicted of 2011 killing a provincial governor for criticizing country’s controversial blasphemy law More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Music Brings Generations Together

When musicians over the age of 50 headline a rock concert, you expect to see baby boomer fans in the audience. Boomer rock stars have boomer fans. Millennial rock stars have millennial fans. But this isn’t always the case. Take the Lockn’ Music festival which took place in mid-September in rural Arrington, Virginia. Here, Jacquelyn de Phillips discovered two generations of people who are considered quite different in the outside world, spending 4 days together in music-loving harmony.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs