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Mozambique: Central provinces: Attack on convoy underscores need to avoid non-essential road movement
Location: Manica Province - Mozambique;
The authorities on 25 October said that suspected members of the armed opposition movement Renamo on 21 October attacked a vehicle convoy on the EN7 highway between Catandica and Vanduzi (both Manica province). The assailants opened fire on a civilian bus, killing one woman and injuring another. The incident, and a similar 12 October attack on the EN1 highway between the Save River and Muxungue (Sofala province), underline the need to avoid all non-essential road movement outside urban centres in the central/northern provinces of Manica, Nampula, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia, including on the EN1, EN6 and EN7 highways.
Avoid all non-essential road movement outside urban centres in the central/northern provinces of Manica, Nampula, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia due to the risks posed by roadside guerrilla attacks.
Members intending to conduct business-critical road journeys between urban centres in central/northern provinces should contact their nearest Assistance Centre for an up-to-date assessment and itinerary-specific advice. Expect delays along the EN1 and EN7 highways due to enforced convoy procedures; allow additional travel time.
Journey management plans are essential. Travel in daylight hours only and in a convoy of at least two vehicles with an experienced local driver and reliable communications. Exercise high levels of vigilance and be alert to any obstacles or suspicious activity. If you see anything suspicious, turn around and return to a known secure area.
Anticipate heightened security along major roads and in urban centres; carry relevant personal identification documents to facilitate passage through security checkpoints. Comply with all directives issued by the authorities and treat security force personnel with patience and respect.
Although local sources suggest that the 12 October attack included a 30-minute gunfight, no casualties were reported. Renamo gunmen regularly target vehicles on major roads in the central provinces, prompting the government to institute armed convoys on the EN1 and EN7 highways, though this has not deterred attacks. Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama has justified the targeting of civilian vehicles by saying that some are used to transport security force personnel. The armed group has also previously targeted administrative posts, police stations and hospitals with the aim of looting equipment and medical supplies.
Take care folks