Suspected militants attacked two buses along the National Highway 1 (EN1) outside in Sofala province on Thursday, September 17. The first attack reportedly took place near the bridge over the River Pungue, approximately 30km (18mi) north of Inchope at around 07:45 (local time), during which the suspected militants opened fire on the buses, injuring at least seven people. The two buses had left the city of Beira (Sofala) for the city of Quelimane (Zambezia). Local sources state that the second attack occurred along the EN1 between Save and Muxungue, Chibabava District, at around 10:00; the bus was reportedly going from Beira to Maputo. The attacks follow on from similar incidents in the provinces of Manica and Sofala, where dissident guerrillas from the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) are known to operate.
Further attacks are possible in the region in the near term.
In August 2019, the Peace and National Reconciliation Agreement was signed between President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Ossufo Momade which called for the immediate disarmament and reintegration into society of more than 5000 Renamo rebels.
While Renamo's political leaders remain committed to the ongoing peace process and the August 2019 ceasefire agreement, several small factions have rejected the deals negotiated by Momade and threatened to continue insurgent attacks until he resigns. The splinter group, known locally as the Renamo Military Junta, has staged dozens of attacks on security forces and civilian vehicles on highways in the central provinces of Manica and Sofala since Frelimo's controversial victory in the October 2019 general election, continuing tactics used extensively by the group during the 2013-2016 insurgency. However, Momade and other Renamo leaders have claimed that the rebel faction has insufficient support, capabilities, and resources to sustain a significant insurgency campaign.
Those in Sofala province are advised to remain vigilant, report any suspicious objects or behavior, and follow all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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