More news on Mozambique
Afternoon folks. More news on Mozambique:
Mozambique: Central provinces: Fresh gun attacks along highways highlight insurgency-related travel risks, need to avoid non-essential overland movement
Category: Conflict, Travel restriction
Suspected members of the Renamo armed opposition movement carried out three separate attacks on vehicles travelling through Sofala province between 25 and 27 June. The incidents highlight the increased direct and indirect travel risks linked to insurgent activity in the central provinces of Manica, Nampula, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia. Members should avoid all non-essential travel along the EN1, EN6 and EN7 highways due to the credible risk of exposure to insurgency-related security incidents.
• Travel to the central provinces of Manica, Nampula, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia can continue with standard security precautions.
• Avoid all non-essential road movement on the EN1, EN6 and EN7 highways outside urban centres; reconfirm the status of routes prior to departure, and use air travel where possible.
• If undertaking essential travel on the EN1, EN6 and EN7, expect delays 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. Follow all directives issued by the authorities and treat security force personnel with patience and respect.
On 27 June, gunmen attacked a convoy of vehicles travelling under a security force escort on the EN1 highway in the vicinity of the Save river crossing-Muxungue. In a separate incident, a bus driver was shot at and subsequently lost control of the vehicle, causing 20 injuries but no deaths. Earlier on 25 June, the passengers of a truck travelling from Inhaminga to Beira were robbed.
The authorities on 12 June said that all road movement along the EN7 highway from Vand zi district to the Luenha river, which forms the boundary of the central provinces of Manica and Tete, must be undertaken in an armed convoy. Subsequently, they announced on 28 June an extension to the convoy section, bringing its total distance to 168 miles (270km).The development followed a recent series of indiscriminate attacks by suspected Renamo elements on vehicles using the EN7. The authorities have indicated that further military escorts for convoys would be considered for areas susceptible to attacks.
The latest armed convoy requirement is the third to be introduced this year, all in response to the increase in suspected Renamo insurgency across the central provinces. This has included clashes between Renamo members and the security forces, as well as indiscriminate attacks on civilian, military and commercial transport. The requirement for armed convoys had been previously introduced on the Save river crossing-Muxungue and Nhamapadza-Caia (all Sofala province) sections of the EN1 highway.
Despite the introduction of armed escorts, the recent incidents illustrate that the measure is unlikely to pose a substantial deterrent to insurgents. The presence of security force personnel is not sufficient to ensure secure overland travel in insurgency-affected provinces, and even travel by convoy is therefore likely to entail elevated risks of exposure to violence.