In the face of increased armed attacks in Mozambique’s central provinces, perpetrated by a dissident branch of Renamo calling itself the “Renamo Military Junta,” the spokesperson of the Mozambique Episcopal Conference, Bishop João Carlos Nunes has called for differences to be settled through dialogue.
Bishop João Carlos Nunes, the Bishop of Chimoio Diocese is also head of the Social Communication Commission at the Mozambican Episcopal Conference (CEM).
The most recent attack on a public bus, took place at Muda Serração, Gondola district in Manica Province. Two passengers sustained injuries when a “blast of bullets hit their bus.”
Renamo claims responsibility
Most of the attacks now happening in the central provinces of Manica and Sofala are at the hands of the self-styled group that has broken away from Renamo and is calling itself, “Renamo Military Junta” under a leader known as General Mariano Nhongo. The Junta has claimed responsibility for the spate of armed attacks since Mozambique’s disputed October elections.
Pope Francis’ visit
The 6 August 2019 peace agreement between Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi and the Renamo leader, Ossufo Momade should have ushered in a new era in Mozambique’s politics. Pope Francis’ Apostolic visit, to Mozambique, in September 2019, was meant, in part, to support the peace process.
Notwithstanding the post-October election disputes and armed flare-up, there is hope that the peace agreement will hold. Representatives of the European Union and the African Union have been making efforts to ensure that the peace agreement remains intact.
Vatican News’ Hermínio José reporting from Maputo says Bishop Nunes appeal is also meant to draw people’s attention to the bigger picture of peace. So much has been gained and so much could be lost.