Mozambique News Agency
Maputo, 2 Sept (AIM) - Police spokesperson Pedro Cossa on Thursday denied rumours that the army has been called on to restore public order. According to Cossa, "the army was called on to carry out the clean-up in the cities and not to restore order. Since last night it has helped Maputo City Municipal Council to clean the city".
Cossa stated that the police have the responsibility to ensure the safe movement of people on the roads.
Commenting on the situation on Thursday morning, the spokesperson said that all is relatively calm. There were still points of disturbances on the outskirts of Maputo, with incidents along the Avenida Acordos de Lusaka, Avenida de Angola, the neighbourhood of Magoanine and the city of Matola.
Because of this, Cossa called on the population to return to normal life, but for parents and carers to avoid abandoning children to make sure that they are not harmed in the disturbances.
Currently the police are patrolling all entrances to Maputo and are out in force in the city centre.
Questioned about the sporadic gunfire during the night, Cossa explained, “some people wanted to use the cover of darkness to continue their activities, throwing stones and obstructing citizens. The police were called on to intervene to restore order".
Again, Cossa reiterated that the police only used rubber bullets and not live ammunition as claimed by some.
In another development, Antonio Libombo, director of communications at the rail company Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM), regretted the acts of vandalism that had caused serious damage to the business, although he said that it was still too early to assess the exact cost.
"We have not had any movement of cargo trains to Swaziland, South Africa or Zimbabwe. This will lead to enormous losses for the company. Currently we are preoccupied with verifying the situation on the ground to prepare to get the trains rolling".
Libombo used the occasion to launch an appeal to the public to denounce cases of vandalism along the rail tracks.
Flights into Maputo airport have also been affected. Mozambican airlines (LAM) were forced to cancel all flights on Wednesday, leaving several hundred passengers stranded in Maputo and Johannesburg. However, LAM have now resumed flights.
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