Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Three officers have abandoned the militia of the former rebel movement Renamo, and have requested to join the Mozambican defence and security forces, according to a report on Radio Mozambique.The three, António Barroma, Anselmo Goba and Santos Daniel, all from the central province of Sofala, had been in Maputo for the past two months, waiting for their formal recruitment into the police. The representative of the group, Antonio Barroma, said they were tired of living in the bush with no prospects for improving their lives.“We are former Renamo guerrillas”, he said. “We stayed out there in the bush, and we followed all the military hostilities between Renamo and the government forces for two years (2013-2014). When we joined Renamo, our goal wasn’t to stay in the bush. So when the government announced that it was open to including Renamo men in the defence and security forces, we thought that would be a good opportunity”.They left and applied to join the police when they realized that Renamo was not interested in their recruitment into the police or armed forces (FADM). “We found that we were wasting our time in the bush, and that if we didn’t take this attitude, Renamo wouldn’t take it for us”, said Barroma.He said this was just a replica of a decision taken by some of their superior officers recently, who had also decided to leave the Renamo militia and join the defence and security forces. He was referring to Abilio Mucuepa, who joined the police as an assistant superintendent, and Manuel Lavimo, who was recruited into the FADM with the rank of major, both in late July . Mucuepa and Lavimo had both been members of the now disbanded team of military observers set up to monitor the agreement of a cessation of hostilities signed by the then President Armando Guebuza and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama on 5 September 2014.That agreement provided for the disarming and disbanding of the Renamo militia (referred to as Renamo’s “residual forces”). Members of the militia would be offered positions in the army and police or would return to civilian life. This never happened, because Renamo refused to disarm, and instead demanded that half the senior positions in the military and police be allocated to Renamo members. Barroma said that he and his two colleagues have called on their former colleagues to leave the bush and accept the appeals of the government, thus ending definitively the foci of conflict that still occur in parts of central Mozambique. He added that in the Renamo bases “there are people who want to turn themselves in, but don’t know the mechanisms”. Their superiors also told them that defecting to the government “is a death sentence”. Barroma confirmed that the Renamo militia does not consist solely of men who had fought in the war of destabilization that ended in 1992. Instead Renamo has been clandestinely recruiting new members for its private army. He said the three of them, who were all sons of Renamo guerrillas, joined Renamo in 2013, and received military training at a base in Chicuacha, in Sofala province. It was from here that they set off for Maputo to join the police.

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