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Mozambique's guerilla warfare crippling the economy

Mozambique's guerilla warfare crippling the economy

Mozambique

Mozambique is facing uncertain times as former civil war enemies are fighting again and innocent civilians are caught in the crossfire.

In the central part of the country, vehicles often have to be escorted under armed guard.

Gunmen suspected to be linked to the country’s main opposition party and rebel movement Renamo carry out ambushes on roads.

We have had a stroke, a part of the country no longer works.

The attackers often cause severe damages to vehicles and in some cases injure or kill civilians, putting  additional strain to an already ailing economy.

“The country is paralyzed. A person who catches a thrombosis, stroke, has a part of the body which does not work, sometimes until he dies, and that is what is happening with Mozambique. We have had a stroke, a part of the country no longer works, we are in a chaotic situation,” said Daviz Simango, Mayor of Beira.

With most highways being hot spots for attacks, the roads are constantly monitored. Travellers have voiced concerns about the number of days it takes them to get to the capital Maputo.

“This situation is stressful, nothing goes with this trip. Before this military situation, we could make the trip in a single day, we left at 4am and we arrived at 11pm or early morning the next day,” said Martins Gabriel.

Businesses too are also suffering. Eliseu Nalhawi a chicken truck driver says that the rotting of food and transportation costs are already impacting food prices.

“We have a lot of losses because we are very delayed. For example me, I am transporting live chickens. And if they remain here for a long time, they are going to die because of the temperature,” Nalwahi said.

Last month, the government and Renamo agreed to re-open peace negotiations. However, the attacks have intensified forcing thousands to flee the country to neighbouring Malawi.

AFP

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