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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Mozambican president admits breaking
protocol to meet opposition leader

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi revealed Saturday at the 11th Frelimo Party Congress that he did not forewarn that he was going to meet Afonso Dhlakama, the leader of the opposition party Renamo, for fear of being opposed by members of Frelimo party.

“I apologize to the people of Sofala for going to Gorongosa to meet the Renamo leader without informing the local government. I took this attitude because I was afraid that my comrades would stop me from continuing the journey,” said the president.

Filipe Nyusi added that the Defense and Security Forces did not agree when they learned of his intention, but after all they relented as him being the commander in chief.

He considered that if he went to Gorongosa to meet Afonso Dhlakama without approval from his own party, the peace would be compromised.

When Nyusi took power in 2015, he was a subject of speculations from Mozambican politicians and the press for a time. With these considerations many thought that he would not get a political and military agreement with Renamo party.

But this meeting between the President and the Renamo leader was seen later as a big step towards achieving effective peace in Mozambique. Afonso Dhlakama himself considered that the talks have been prosperous but he did not say when he will come out from the bush.

Renamo wants the de-partisanization of the state, since it understands that the Defense and Security Forces are controlled by the ruling party, Frelimo. After the 2014 elections, Renamo wanted to take by force six provinces of central and northern Mozambique, where the party has a greater number of supporters and allegedly won the election.

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Poaching activity down 72 percent in Gorongosa National Park of Mozambique

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- Poaching activity in Gorongosa National Park (GNP) in central Mozambique has fallen by 72 percent since the beginning of this year, a park official said here on Monday.

The remarks by Rui Branco, head of surveillance at GNP, followed the arrest last week of seven teachers and three GNP guards in possession of ivory and precious stones.

Branco attributed the success in combating poaching to the team work of natural resources committees.

“The collaboration of the local committees led to the seizure of 35 guns that were used by poachers to slaughter animals, and the conservation law that inflicts heavy penalties on illegal hunters also contributes to the reduction of the activities,” he said.

This year, 240 traps set up for capturing large animals in the buffer zone of the park have been removed, Branco said.

However, Branco said, in Limpopo National Park, in southern Mozambique and linked to South Africa’s Kruger Park, at least 30 elephants have been killed so far this year, compared to 22 of last year.

The Gorongosa National Park is the largest wildlife park in Mozambique, which has a total of 84,000 animals, including 650 elephants and 100 lions.

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Mozambican Government denies UN allegation on DPRK arms purchase

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- The Mozambican government denied on Wednesday the UN accusation of it for purchasing military weapons and equipment from a trading company in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

More than two weeks ago the UN Security Council experts said in a report that a investment company under the Ministry of Defense of Mozambique paid six million U.S. dollars for DPRK arms, violating UN arms sanctions.

   In reply to the UN report, Mozambican Defense Minister Atanasio M’tumuke said his government had nothing to fear because it had never bought arms from DPRK.

“These are false accusations. Mozambique has never bought arms from DPRK. We look forward to the investigation from the United Nations and we hope that they apologize for the allegations” after the investigation, said M’tumuke at the end of the Frelimo Party’s 11th Congress that began Tuesday in Maputo.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Oldemiro Baloi also rejected the UN allegations, but admitted that Mozambique has been cooperating with DPRK for many years.

“It is not true that we have bought weapons from DPRK recently. The only time we acquired weapons from it was the early days of the country’s independence, and this never happened again. But we maintain cooperation with DPRK,” said Baloi.

According to the report, Mozambique was among the 11 African countries that violate the UN arms embargo on DPRK, which include Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Benin, Botswana, Mali, and Zimbabwe.

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Anti-personnel mines explosion kills seven in central Mozambique

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- Seven people were killed and two more injured by anti-personnel mines blast on Tuesday in Zambezia, central province of Mozambique, while they were hunting small animals for meal.

The spokesperson for the General Command of the Police of the Republic of Mozambique, Inacio Dina, told the press Wednesday that the dead were all from the same family, aged between 11 and 25 years old.

“The anti-personnel mines were activated when these people were hunting animals for meals, three were killed on the spot when the devices blew and the rest of them died in the hospital,” said Inacio Dina.

He said that in order to prevent more deaths the police isolated the area and delegated a team to work to verify the conditions in the region and to investigate the possible existence of other explosive devices.

Four months ago, a mine exploded in Mozambican capital and seriously injured a child while he was playing.

Mozambique declared two years ago that it is free of mines after many years of demining program across the country.

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Two million Mozambican women to use contraceptive methods in 2017

MAPUTO, (Xinhua) -- Nearly 900,000 women have joined family planning services since the beginning of this year, the Mozambican Ministry of Health said on Wednesday.

According to Pascoa Waty, head of the ministry’s Department of Women and Children’s Health, the number is expected to reach two million women aged between 15 to 49 years by the end of the year.

“These numbers will strengthen the work of the Ministry of Health in birth control and reducing early pregnancy. We are also working to improve the distribution and access of contraceptives that is still scarce for women with limited resources in our country,” said Waty.

Health Ministry surveys indicated that by 2015 only 28 percent of women aged between 15 and 49 years in Mozambique used contraceptive methods.

“The campaign for the use of contraceptives is also a way to reduce the HIV/AIDS rate that tends to rise in the country,” she said, noting that risky sexual behaviors still persist.

The prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in Mozambique rose from 11.5 percent in 2009 to 13.2 percent in 2015.

           

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