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Mozambique conflict spills over the border into Zimbabwe


The ongoing political unrest in Mozambique has spilled over into neighbouring Zimbabwe.Thousands of Zimbabweans living along the border have fled their homes. Others have even been killed and their livestock stolen.

Africanews paid a visit to the Zimbabwe/Mozambique border, where villagers are living in makeshift homes after their houses were destroyed by the wrangling Mozambican FRELIMO and RENAMO fighters.

Tasara Zamchiya, a Village Head at the border said: “There’s a serious crisis here. People are living like animals because of the war in Mozambique. Most Zimbabweans who stay along the border are now fleeing their homes and now living in deplorable conditions, in shacks, with no water, no food or toilets. I can foresee an outbreak of serious diseases if the situation is not urgently dealt with.”

Zimbabwe military manning the border has ordered local residents along the border to move deeper inside Zimbabwe in an effort to create a buffer zone to counter the fighters.

At the same time thousands of Mozambique citizens are also crossing into Zimbabwe daily to seek refuge . Despite leaders of the fighting groups agreeing to a two-month truce last month, fighting continues in Mozambique.

The Whole Gamut

The civil war between Frelimo and Renamo ended in 1992 with the Rome Acccord and Renamo became a political party that now has several MPs in Parliament.

But opposition and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama and some of his ex-combatants retreated to his military hideout at Satungira in the Gorongosa national park in the central state of Sofala in 2012 after military clashes with government forces, the eNCA reports.

After 20 years of peace, Dhlakama and Renamo have now returned to low-level warfare because they accuse Frelimo of frustrating Renamo’s political ambitions by rigging elections, failing to completely honour the Rome Accord, and marginalising the central and northern provinces where Renamo is strongest, eNCA further reports.

Since October 2015 there have been 107 Renamo attacks, in which 40 people died and 79 had been seriously injured. By province, there were 56 in Sofala, 21 in Manica, 11 in Tete, 8 in Zambezia, 6 in Inhambane, 3 in Nampula and 2 in Gaza, according to Agostinho Vuma, a Frelimo MP and a senior figure in the Confederation of Mozambican Business Associations (CTA), speaking in parliament 23 June, according to Club of Mozambique.

Negotiations between Frelimo and Renamo mediated by civil society to end the fighting have gone nowhere and recently Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi agreed to Renamo’s demand to invite international mediators, including South African President Jacob Zuma, the Catholic church, and the European Union. It is not yet clear if any of them have accepted.