Mozambique Tourism Hit Hard By Violence

Written by Dana Sanchez

Mozambique tourism accounted for 6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2012 but the worst violence there since civil war ended in 1992 is expected to hurt the economy, according to a report in TourismReview.

Armed robbery and kidnappings have been witnessed in the country as government forces try to suppress the rebel group Renamo, the report said.

Foreign offices have responded by issuing travel advisories against travelling to parts of the country. The capital of Beira is, for now, thought to be safe, according to TourismReview.

Many of the tourist resorts are located south of the conflict zone, and transportation services from the city to these areas has been “mutilated with several attacks on civilian vehicles being reported on the 60-mile stretch of highway connecting Beira to the southern beaches,” the report said. “Buses have been set alight with innocent passengers and track drivers being shot at by the impeding rebel group.”

The attacks have attributed to Renamo, an anti-communist rebel group that became an opposition group after the civil war of 1992 but regrouped armed fighters a year ago to stage attacks on the government institutions, killing innocent civilians in the process.

The rebel group is armed with sophisticated weapons that the government troops describe as “highly dangerous,” with reports claiming that some of army officers are throwing away their guns and running for safety as the rebels swiftly approach Beira.

Properties worth millions have been looted with reports of rape, family displacement, and killing in villages to the south.

The situation is worsening in Sofala province with the neighboring Nampula and Manica provinces also witnessing planned attacks from Renamo rebels, TourismReview reports.

Tourists planning to visit Mozambique are advised to take great caution to avoid reaching conflict zones with the unrest threatening to destabilize the economy of the country.