Friday, August 14, 2009

(NYASATIMES) What Mozambique papers say on Malawi’s border attack

What Mozambique papers say on Malawi’s border attack
By Nyasa Times
Published: August 13, 2009

The recent incident of violence reported in the district of Ngauma, northern province of Niassa, involving Malawian border-guards inside the Mozambique territory dominates newspaper headlines in the Mozambique. “Bingu went Mad”, the weekly Savana wrote on its first page.

In developing the theme of cover, the second page, the same newspaper wrote: “incident with a bicycle converted into matter of State,” a reference to the fact that Malawian officers raided a police station to demand the return of a bicycle allegedly apprehended by the Mozambican authorities from a Malawian national who had crossed illegally the Mozambican border to buy maize.

The News, the largest daily circulation in Mozambique also highlights the tension between the two states and published their news with the headline: “Mutharika promising explanations.”

The main newspaper of the city of Beira, Diário de Moçambique, no exception to the rule, but the incident gives the space to the second headline, writing that “attack on the border to prevent access of Mutharika to Beira.”

However, Mozambique Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Oldemiro Balloons, reaffirmed Wednesday in Maputo that the relations of friendship and cooperation between Mozambique and Malawi are very good and added that the incident recorded in the common border in Ngauma, province of Niassa, should not be extrapolated.

“We must establish the facts in detail,” said Balloons, indicating that it is well convinced that relations remain good.

President Bingu wa Mutharika who was forced to cancel part of his agenda in Mozambique after learning of the attack. has since promised his Mozambican counterpart Armando Guebuza that he will investigate the matter.

“I expect to send a report to my brother Guebuza after the meeting with the (Malawian national) security council, but I believe there was some sort of a misunderstanding caused by a group of people. That could not be an action of the Malawian government,” Mutharika said.

Four Mozambican police assigned to the Caloca post have been arrested and charged with negligence for failing to stop the raid, reported the state-controlled newspaper Noticias. –Nyasa Times report sourcing from official Mozambican news agency AIM.

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