Mozambique Roads - Caution Alert
Yet another humanitarian tragedy is about to unfold in central Mozambique, away from public perception and outside the mainstream narrative.
Mozambique's opposition party leader, Afonso Dhlakama, has been forced to flee to his Gorongosa mountain hideout having survived two assassination attempts in as many months. It is a repeat performance of similar events which took place in 2013 and 2014.
The last peace accord, signed on 5 September 2014 with the former president, Armando Guebuza, appears to now be defunct. Maputo newspapers quote government sources as saying that Dhlakama's absence from public eye is being viewed by the ruling party as a threat to peace.
Independent sources in Maputo are quoted as saying that the government is preparing for yet another artillery offensive on the Renamo stronghold in Serra da Gorongosa. There are also reports that Dhlakama suffered wounds to his legs in the last ambush, which took place on 25 September 2015 on the national road EN6 at Zimpinga, Gondola district in Manica province.
There is much talk of war - again.
Both in 2013 and 2014 these government offensives, led by the current president (then minister of defense), resulted in bloody and deadly battles almost on a daily basis, with the local civilian population suffering the most casualties and the most losses.
In addition to disrupting the local communities, the road link (EN6) between Zimbabwe and the port of Beira is rendered unusable by frequent Renamo attacks with a resulting adverse effect on the economies of Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Further, Renamo has the proven ability to ignite spontaneous groups of resistance which can cause havoc as far south as the South African borders, making road and rail travel unsafe between Mpumalanga and Maputo.
There is neither regional nor international political will to address the imbalance of power in Mozambique which is at the root of the perpetual state of insecurity which afflicts the country. The country's new president, Filipe Nyusi, is unlikely to make concessions to the opposition and is expected to adopt a military response.
Yes, it looks like we are in for yet another season of Russian roulette on Mozambican roads...