Four members of Mozambique’s special police force and a militiaman loyal to the main opposition party died in clashes yesterday in Sofala province in some of the country’s worst political violence in a decade.
The fighting occurred in the district of Muxungwe after Mozambique National Resistance militiamen attacked members of the Rapid Intervenion Force, the police said in a statement yesterday. Renamo said it was retaliating for a police raid on its office the day before.
Renamo, formerly backed by South Africa’s apartheid government, fought a 15-year civil war against the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique, or Frelimo, that ended in 1992 with a peace agreement brokered by church groups.
“We want to inform the national and international community that we are tired of being oppressed by the Frelimo government and will retaliate for each attack with all our power,” Renamo Secretary-General Ussufo Momade told reporters in Maputo, the capital.
Mozambique is the site of an aluminum smelter operated by BHP Billiton (BHP) while Rio Tinto Ltd. (RIO) and Vale SA have coal operations in the country. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) and Eni SpA (ENI) have discovered natural gas off its coast.
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