At least five people were injured on Tuesday, October 6, when suspected Renamo Military Junta rebels opened fire on a bus traveling on National Highway 1 (EN1) in Sofala Province. The bus was reportedly ambushed at around 08:00 (local time) whilst traveling in a convoy between Muxungue and Mutindiri, with the attackers fleeing the scene after the initial attack. The convoy is reported to have been under police escort at the time of the incident, but it remains unclear whether security forces engaged the suspected rebels.
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 monitor developments in their particular area of operations through a range of multi-source intelligence advisories and local contacts and heed any directives issued by local authorities. Overland travel within the province, particularly on EN1, should only be undertaken with robust journey management measures in place and in coordination with security forces.
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