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Thursday, 07 November 2013
Media reports about political unrest in Mozambique have raised concerns among travellers about safety in the area, especially as the December holidays approach. 

The reports come after rebel group, Renamo, rejected peace talks with the government this week and was reportedly involved in deadly attacks around the country. 

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has also sent out an advisory against all but essential travel to the popular tourist province Sofala with the exception of the provincial capital, Beira, following military clashes with the rebels. 

“The situation in Sofala Province remains tense and on October 22 there were reports of armed attacks in the region, including against a vehicle travelling on the EN1 road. Further attacks can’t be ruled out,” the FCO advisory says.

“There have also been reports of violent clashes between government forces and Renamo in Manica and Nampula provinces, and an armed attack on a civilian vehicle travelling along the E8 road between Nampula and Malema. Take extra care when travelling by road outside urban areas in the affected provinces,” it adds. 

However South Africa’s High Commissioner to Mozambique, Charles Nqakula, told Eye Witness News that the situation was stable and that the southern and central areas were safe for travel. He is quoted as saying: “In South Africa, we have both a political and economic interest in Mozambique and therefore anything that threatens the country is actually threatening us as well.”

Media and public relations manager for Cullinan Outbound, John Ridler, says the Sofala clashes took place 300km away from their lodges in Bazaruto, Benguerra, Vilanculos and Inhambane. “All Thompsons’ packages include direct transfers to the lodges, ensuring the safety of passengers. Our agents are keeping posted on developments.”

With the violence seemingly confined to the province of Sofala, Holiday Tours is still advertising and selling packages to Maputo, Inhambane and Vilanculos, says Holiday 

Tours product manager for USA Megan Darcy. “We are in close contact with our suppliers and should any of our product become affected, we will issue the necessary advisories and assist passengers with bookings accordingly,” she says.

Director of Falcon Safaris Allan Eccles says it has no problem with promoting lodges on the mainland near Inhambane and Vilanculos at this stage. 
By : etnw
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