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Mozambique: security along Maputo-Beira route worries bus operators

Mozambique public private bus operators have expressed serious security concerns over the Maputo-Beira route, a highway which has became a target of attacks by suspected Renamo militias in recent months.Attacks began in June on the 100 kilometre stretch of the main road between the Save river and the small town of Muxungue.

Travel between Maputo and Beira can only be made using this road.

Several of Mozambique’s papers reported on Friday that not only do the bus companies fear for the lives of their staff, and the possibility that their vehicles might be damaged or destroyed – they have also noticed a decline in the number of passengers prepared to risk the journey.

One fare collector, Joao Alfredo, told a newspaper that his employer has withdrawn one of his new buses from the Maputo-Beira route, fearing that it might come under attack.

“He fears that, if this happens, no-one will take responsibility for the damage, and so he thought it better just to park it�, Afredo said.

Another fare collector, Amandio Vilaculos, whose bus plies from Beira to Vilankulo, in Inhambane province, said the number of passengers has dropped since the start of the attacks in the Muxungue area.

Renamo whose officials repudiated the 1992 peace accord with the Frelimo government after the captured of their jungle base in Situnjira in October causing leader Afonso Dhlakama to flee has been blamed for a series of attacks across central Mozambique.

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