Perhaps you have heard about the recent growing concern about unrest in central Mozambique. Last week, we heard in the national media that after 21 years of peace, Renamo and Frelimo (the opposition and ruling party respectively) are again at loggerheads and are beginning to involve civilians, tourists and vehicles in transit in their political clashes. Does this mean that there is going to be a recurrence of civil war? Hopefully not. Over the past few days it has been reported that two transport vehicles using the corridor road in the north of the country have been held up at gun point with Frelimo soldiers battling to hold onto their life, and worryingly an overland truck heading through the country into Zimbabwe has also been caught up in terrorist activities. Numerous British owned companies have repatriated their ex-pat workers, and the US has warned its citizens against travel.
Cause for concern?
We ourselves have suspended our operations in Inharrime province, as we are also concerned for the safety of tourists and our own staff. Although the unrest appears to be isolated to the North of the country, with occasional demonstrations in Maputo, the capital, we would rather be safe than sorry. We’re holding thumbs that this political unrest is a temporary matter, and will be resolved swiftly, perhaps with international mediation. This should mean that Mozambique will yet again become the peaceful country of palm trees and sunshine that we all know it to be.
What about Ponta D’Ouro?
As Ponta D’Ouro is situated in the South of the country – really, only a 10 minute drive into Mozambique from South Africa, we have no concern about our volunteers here. All projects are continuing as usual, as there has been no reports at all of any problems in this part of the country. Don’t forget, that Ponta D’Ouro is highly reliant on South African tourism for income and revenue, and is also isolated from Maputo by the harbour. This means that it is highly unlikely that any political unrest will be felt in this small village. This has always been the case in the past. We will, however, reassess the situation in the new year, but until then it is all systems go in Ponta!