Mozambique's opposition leader under house arrest

by Reuters
Friday, 9 October 2015 15:59 GMT

MAPUTO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Mozambique's opposition party leader Afonso Dhlakama was placed under house arrest on Friday as he returned from hiding after a shootout that killed 23 members of his entourage last month.

Dhlakama's home outside Beira was raided by security forces on Friday morning. Members of his security detail were arrested and residents in surrounding areas told to vacate the area, and a large military and police presence remained outside the house.

Dhlakama's party, Renamo, waged a 16-year civil war against the ruling Frelimo party, which ended with a 1992 peace agreement. Tensions have resurfaced, however, in the last few years, including in the run-up to fractious national elections last October, which Renamo lost.

The government has given no reason for the arrest, although it said last month the shootout on Sept. 25 began when Dhlakama's security detail opened fire on a civilian taxi. Renamo disputes that, saying Dhlakama's motorcade was ambushed.

"The siege of Afonso Dhlakama is an attack on democracy and the rule of law," Renamo parliamentary chief Ivone Soares told Reuters. "The government and Frelimo are not being truthful with the Mozambican people by resorting to force instead of resuming the political dialogue". (Writing by Mfuneko Toyana; Edited by Larry King)

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