Clashes stoke tension before Mozambique local election




 
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November 18th, 2013  
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Topic: Clashes stoke tension before Mozambique local election


By Pascal Fletcher MAPUTO (Reuters) - Clashes in Mozambique's second city of Beira between rival party supporters and riot police injured more than 20 people and stoked tension ahead of local elections this week that will test opposition to the Frelimo government. In the municipal elections on Wednesday, the Frelimo party which has ruled the southern African state since independence in 1975 faces an emerging challenge from the smaller Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), after the main opposition party and former rebel group Renamo decided to boycott the vote. Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama is a fugitive after the government army overran his jungle camp last month, following sporadic ambushes and skirmishes by Renamo guerrillas which have persisted mostly in central Sofala province. These attacks have revived painful memories of the devastating 1975-1992 civil war between Renamo and Frelimo and foreign donors have urged President Armando Guebuza's government to preserve peace like "a treasure".




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