Govt worried about Mozambique violence

The Minister of Public Service and Administration Mr Collins Chabane. Christine Vermooten

The Minister of Public Service and Administration Mr Collins Chabane. Christine Vermooten

South Africa is extremely concerned at the armed conflict in Mozambique, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said on Thursday.

South Africa had not been asked for any help to quell the conflict, he told journalists at Parliament following Cabinet’s regular Wednesday fortnightly meeting.┬áThe United Nations and the United States had also expressed concern about reports that the country could be plunged back into a civil war.

Former Renamo rebels declared a 1992 peace deal over on Tuesday, although they later reaffirmed they wanted to avoid a return to war as did Mozambican President Armando Guebuza. The former rebel group is now an opposition political party in the Mozambican government.

Chabane said: “Mozambique was at war for a very long time and it is a worry [that] any county in [the] SADC [Southern African Development Community]… that after having enjoyed peace for such a long time could revert back to violence or to armed confrontation.

“Given the fact that Mozambique runs regular elections, all parties are allowed to participate in Parliament, parties which are reported to be starting the conflict with the Mozambican government… is a serious worry not only to us as a neighbour but to the continent as a whole.”

Cabinet believed the Mozambican government could deal with both the security and political issues related to the conflict, meaning there was no need for South Africa to intervene.

South Africa was concerned about the possible effect of the violence on the SADC region.

“From our part, as Cabinet, this is happening on our shores, around our borders and the stability of Mozambique is very critical to the stability of the region and also for the economic growth which is required for us to be able to provide the number of jobs required in the SADC region.”


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