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Mozambique bishop calls for peace

Posted on: April 16, 2013 3:01 PM
Bishop of Niassa Mark Van Koevering
Photo Credit: Diocese of Niassa
Related Categories: Niassa, Southern Africa

By Bellah Zulu, ACNS

Bishop of the Diocese of Niassa in Mozambique, the Rt Revd Mark Van Koevering, has called for peace in the country following the violence and death of at least five people, after members of the opposition party, RENAMO, attacked a police post in the Mozambican town of Maxungue Thursday (4 April).

“We are all saddened by the deaths of innocent people during the recent violence that took place in Muxungue, Mozambique,” said the Bishop. “We call on all to follow in the way of peace, creating space and opportunity for all voices to be heard in a transparent process that renounces violence and serves the common good.”

The incident followed two police raids on RENAMO gatherings, which the police said were military training seminars organised to destabilise the country. The police said one woman and four officers died in the raid while 10 policemen were injured. RENAMO has since said it will boycott local elections which are due to take place in November saying the “electoral process is fundamentally flawed”.

It is reported that some people in the towns of Muxengue and Gondola have fled their homes fearing further clashes and there is little traffic on the main highway between the central region and the capital, which is in the south of the country. Bishop Mark has since asked for God’s wisdom and courage for all those involved so that better decisions that lead to life may be made before the situation goes out of hand.

RENAMO is an ex-rebel movement that fought against the ruling FRELIMO party during Mozambique's 16-year brutal civil war, which ended in 1992. It is estimated that one million people died in the fighting and from starvation, with five million civilians displaced.