Mozambique’s upcoming elections have been rigged by violence and intimidation coming from rebel groups in the country.
A breakaway rebel group has threatened to step up violence if campaigning for the upcoming elections is not suspended. The rebels have claimed responsibility for the two most recent car attacks in the country.
The upcoming elections which are set to take place on 15 October are the first after a historic treaty last month between the government and former rebel group Renamo, which is now the main opposition party. The country is hoping to shed a legacy of decades of unrest while it gears up to take to the polls next month.
After the country gained independence from Portugal in 1975, Renamo fought a brutal civil war against the Frelimo government that left one million people dead before fighting stopped in 1992.
The deal required Renamo fighters to either return to civilian life with financial help or join the police and army. In all, more than 5,000 members are required to surrender their weapons.
However, Renamo never completely disarmed with many disjointing and one breakaway faction alleging to be the military wing of Renamo refusing to participate in the peace deal.
Faction leader, Mariano Nhongo who was speaking via video link said: “If the election campaigning continues, our attacks will continue.
He claimed that his fighters had been responsible for two recent attacks on the vehicles of provincial heavyweights in the central Manica which left a total of four people injured.
Earlier this month Pope Francis heaped praise on the peace deal between government and rebels, but the agreement remains fragile.
President Filipe Nyusi is hoping for a second term in office at the October polls. His Frelimo party has dominated power for more than four decades and he is expected to win.
Koketso Ramorei is a journalist and news editor of SADC News with years of experience in a number of genres including sports, politics and community reporting. He has worked for a numerous publications including The Citizen Newspaper and is a former editor of a Johannesburg-based off-campus publication called The Waldorfian Times.