Claims of a blood sucking elite cause riots in Zambezia

Rioters in Gile, Zambezia, on Thursday (19 Oct) attacked government offices, the police, and the houses of administration officials and community leaders, forcing them to flee. They broke into the district prison and released the 76 people. The rioters were protesting against "chupa sangue" or blood sucking. The police opened fire on the mob, killing two children playing nearby.

Early Saturday morning (21 Oct) in Morrua, Mulevala district, Zambezia, local people attacked the police post and the houses of a community leader and the local health worker. They were responding to the presence of an anti-malaria team. Reports are unclear if the team was accused of spreading malaria or of collecting blood. (Radio Mocambique 22 Oct) In Memba, Nampula, there was a similar incident against a cholera team. (O Pais 20 Oct)

This follows an attack the previous week in Muiane, Gile, in which the house of the administrator, the house of the Frelimo secretary, and the police post were attacked over their links to alleged vampires. There were five arrests in Muiane. In September, police arrested 16 people in Madal, Zambezia, for attacking a police post and the house of a community leader, saying they were linked to chupa sangue. (Txopla 16 Oct, Radio Mocambique 22 Oct, Lusa 18 Sep, O Pais 13 Sep)

There have been other attacks on the police this month. On 1 October an angry crowd burnt down the home of the police commander in Mandimba, Niassa, and on 5 October Islamist extremists attacked the police and other government facilities in Mocimboa da Praia, Cabo Delgado, where police arrested 52 people; 11 more were arrested in Palma. Police spokesperson Inacio Dina said the police had lost patience and will use “violence against violence”. He said the security service SISE had been sent to Gile to prevent further attempts to stir up social instability. (AIM En, 16, 20, 21 Oct; Txopla 16, 19, 20 Oct.)

In neighbouring Malawi, over the past month 8 people have been killed after being accused of being vampires and police have arrested 140 people for being part of vampire hunting mobs.

SOURCE: Mozambique News Reports and Clippings