Mozambique authorities are detaining six opposition members over the violent attacks in the central regions, local police (PRM) confirmed on Wednesday.
The violence experienced in Nhamatanda district of Sofala province has seen at least 21 people killed since August 2019 and police attribute it to members of the opposition Renamo’s armed wing.
The group which includes a member of the Renamo’s municipal assembly and the head of Marromeu Youth wing was arrested on its way to Nhamatanda district, the alleged scene of attacks, VOA reported quoting PRM.
One of the group’s member is hospitalised after he was shot in the operation, while the other five are being held at Sofala’s police station.
The group denies any link to the attacks.
Meanwhile, Mr André Matsangaíssa Júnior, Renamo’s armed wing member, threatened to carry out more attacks in the central regions of Mozambique unless kidnapped members of his family are freed.
In an interview with DW Radio Monday, Mr Júnior said the last contact he had with his family members who had been kidnapped a month ago was on December 27 and he has heard little from them since.
The kidnappers told him they belonged to security and defence forces of Mozambique and were demanding $2 million ransom as well as have him surrender to authorities, he claimed.
“I don’t have this money to pay and I will not surrender any time soon,” he told the radio station in a phone interview.
He also threatened attacks when schools reopen in February unless his relatives are freed.
“In Sofala and Manica provinces I don’t want to see this year classrooms from grade 1 to 7. I don’t even want to face teachers’ faces in those schools”.
Earlier, Renamo’s armed group leader Mr Mariano Nhongo had threatened attacks next week if opposition legislators agree to take oath of office with President Filipe Nyusi following the October 15, 2019 elections which the opposition claims was not fair, citing irregularities.
President Nyusi and his cabinet will take oath of office on January 15 while legislators will take their oaths on January 13 for a five-year term.
According to the state-owned Rádio Moçambique, twelve heads of state have already confirmed attendance for the swearing in ceremony.
Ruling Frelimo leader in Sofala province, Mr Jaime Neto, said his party is concerned with the situation, and condemned Renamo’s bellicose acts. He urged the opposition to find a way to put an end to attacks in order to preserve peace.