Mozambique violence: US urges dialogue
23 October 2013, 12:37
Washington - The United States on Tuesday urged Mozambique's
government and the Renamo opposition movement to "move back from the
brink" and take steps to quell an escalation in tensions that many worry
could disrupt the country's strong economic growth.
The Renamo former rebel group declared on Monday it was
terminating a 1992 peace accord that ended a 1975-1992 civil war, complaining
that government forces overran base of opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama in the
"We are deeply concerned by the escalation in violence
between government security forces and members of the opposition party
Renamo," said US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf. "We are
encouraging the two parties to take visible and decisive steps to de-escalate
the current tense environment."
Mozambique media reported on Tuesday that suspected Renamo
guerrillas fired on a police station at Maringue, just north of the Gorongosa
district, but no casualties were reported.
Asked whether the attack could provoke more violence, Harf
said: "We are deeply concerned by this violence and this escalation and
are urging all sides to take steps to move back from the brink and de-escalate
what has been happening."
Dhlakama, who has struggled to recover from a string of
election defeats by the ruling Frelimo party, is widely regarded as a spent
political force with little power to drag the country back into a civil war.
He has complained that the Frelimo-led government has
monopolised political and economic power.
Mozambique's economy is set to grow by 7% this year - one of
the fastest in Africa - and investors such as Brazil's Vale, London-listed Rio
Tinto, Italy's Eni and US oil firm Anadarko are working to develop some of the
world's largest untapped coal and gas reserves.
Renamo raids in April and June in central Mozambique had
already caused alarm. They killed at least 11 soldiers and police and six
civilians and forced a temporary suspension of coal exports sent by rail to the