919 - 10/13 - Political unrest - Mozambique

The Club has just received the following information from correspondents in South Africa which owners trading to the area should be aware of.

“In the past few months there have been a few instances of renewed hostilities between the Mozambique’s opposition party Renamo (formerly the resistance movement in the 17 year civil war that ended in 1992) and the government forces of the ruling Frelimo party.
Matters have since come to a head with an attack by government forces on the Renamo headquarters on 21 October that according to Renamo was an attempt to kill their leader, Alfonso Dhlakama, and as such they have advised that the Rome peace accord has thus been violated and is considered terminated.

There has been no official statement issued by President Guebuza of the ruling Frelimo party as to the reason for the attack on Renamo’s headquarters.  Spokespersons for both Frelimo and Renamo have stated that they want to avoid at all costs a return to war.

Neighbouring countries including South Africa and Malawi have expressed concern about the escalation of tensions and have urged both parties to return to the negotiating table.

As far as the country’s principal ports, that is Maputo, Beira, Quelimane, Nacala and Pemba are concerned our information is that security would appear to be intact so there should be no cause for concern for ship owners. All of the hostilities so far have been taking place inland and not on or near the coast.

We would recommend that ship owners and operators trading to Mozambique request updated information from their agents and particular care should be exercised by crew members wanting to go ashore and leave the confines of the ports but especially in Beira which is in Sofala district and where the Renamo headquarters were attacked, albeit these headquarters were not in the city but inland in a mountainous region.

We will update this cautionary advice as and when necessary. “

Source of information

Alan Reid
P&I Associates Capetown

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