The northern coastal town of Antonio Enes in Mocambique was almost deserted this week following widespread rioting and looting over last weekend in which one person died and several were injured.
The northern coastal town of Antonio Enes in Mocambique was almost deserted this week following widespread rioting and looting over last weekend in which one person died and several were injured. The rioting, by bands of armed Africans, spread across the district of Zambesia. The bands of maurauders were believed to be former guerrillas, army deserters and unemployed africans taking advantage of the confused situation created by an unofficial ceasefire between the Portuguese army and guerrillas as from FRELIMO (The Mocambique Liberation Front). The attacks were mainly concentrated on white and Asian-owned stores, shops and private houses.
Fishermen from Antonio Enes fled in their boats during the rioting, and were still leaving port even after Portuguese army units and naval vessels care into the town to restore order. Several dozen Africans were arrested throughout Zambesia in the wake of the rioting, but most of the armed bands disappeared into the bush.
An army communique issued after order was restored said it was feared that white families who had fled their farms - -the area is one of the richest agricultural parts of Mocambique -- would not plant fresh crops this season, and the agriculturally-dependant economy of the colony would suffer. The communique appealed for people to return to their homes and carry on their businesses as usual.
Since the feared D.G.S. secret police were disbanded after the military coup in Portugal in April, local police have been reluctant to make arrests, leading to deterioration in law and order throughout Mocambique in the past few weeks.
SYNOPSIS: The northern Mocambique coastal town of Antonio Enes was almost deserted in the wake of widespread rioting and damage last weekend. The damage, caused by groups of armed Africans, was mainly aimed at white and Asian owned property -- vehicles, shops, stores and private homes.
One person died and several were injured in the rioting, which spread across the agriculturally-wealthy district of Zambesia. A communique from army units which later restored order said damage was extensive, and the army feared that white families who had fled their farms would not plant new crops -- damaging the agriculturally-dependent economy of the Portuguese colony.
The groups of marauding Africans, who fled int other bush after army units had made several dozen arrests, are believed to be made up of former guerrillas, army deserters, and unemployed. The army said they were not politically motivated, but merely taking advantage of the confused situation following an unofficial ceasefire between the army and FRELIMO -- the Mocambique Liberation Front.
Meanwhile fishermen from Antonio Enes were fleeing in their boats for the comparative safety of the main port of Beira tree hundred miles to the south -- even after Portuguese naval vessels had arrived in port to help the army restore order. One fishing boat was sunk trying to escape the rioting.