Zimbabwe Troops May Leave Mozambique

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe said yesterday he would consider withdrawing some 7,000 Zimbabwean troops from Mozambique once the Maputo government and its rebel foes concluded a peace accord to end 16 years of civil war.

President Mugabe, who brokered peace talks last week in Rome between Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano and Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) rebel leader Afonso Dhlakama, referred to a cease-fire agreement signed by the two belligerents at the Rome talks. The accord commits both sides to end hostilities on Oct. 1.

"These very encouraging developments in Mozambique will allow us to review the deployment of our troops along the Beira and Limpopo routes to the sea," he told Zimbabwean Army chiefs in Harare.

Zimbabwe, devastated by a crippling drought that has left more than half its population of 10 million in need of food aid, spends $500,000 a day - or 70 percent of its annual defense budget - on the upkeep of the troops in Mozambique.

"This deployment is a large drain on our national resources, particularly at a time when we are restructuring our economy to make it more productive, create more employment, and raise the standard of living of our people," the president added.

The soldiers were deployed in Mozambique 10 years ago to fight against Mr. Dhlakama's RENAMO rebels and to protect landlocked Zimbabwe's trade routes threatened by the fighting.

Their withdrawal would meet a long-standing demand by RENAMO, whose guerrillas had widened their attacks in recent years to include targets inside Zimbabwe.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK