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Zimbabwe Threatens to Deploy Troops in Mozambique

Leader of the former Mozambican rebel movement now opposition party Renamo, Afonso Dhlakama, gives a press conference, April 10, 2013, in Gorongosa's mountains, Mozambique.
Zimbabwe has upped the ante against Mozambique’s opposition party, Renamo, which is threatening a civil war in the neighbouring country.

Vice President Joyce Mujuru has joined the growing list of Zimbabwean officials denouncing the actions taken by Renamo to abandon a 1992 peace deal.

The state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation quotes Mujuru as saying Zimbabwe will step in to protect its economic interests and will also mobilize the region to intervene should the situation deteriorate.

Mujuru blamed unnamed western powers for backing Renamo in an effort to destabilize the region.

Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, who is fleeing government forces in a remote jungle in Sofala region, announced Monday that he was abandoning the 1992 peace pact that ended the country's civil war.

Renamo spokesman Fernando Mazanga told VOA Studio 7 that Dhlakama is still in Mozambique and is ready to negotiate. He accused Mozambican president Armando Guebuzza of wanting to eliminate Dhlakama and failing to institute democratic reforms.

But Frelimo spokesman Edmundo Galiza Matos Jr. told Reuters that his party wants peace, adding that they are also ready to discuss Renamo’s persistent demands for electoral reforms.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Chris Mutsvangwa said if Renamo resorts to violence, it will be a disaster and Zimbabwe is ready to back Frelimo.

But political analyst Robert Besselin of the think tank, IHS Global Insight, said Renamo has no capacity to cause havoc in the region.

For perspective on this issue, Studio 7 reporter Tatenda Gumbo spoke to Gwinyai Dzinesa, Senior Researcher of the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, and former MDC-T Dangamvura-Chikanga Member of Parliament Giles Mutsekwa.
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Mutsekwa said what is beginning to unfold in Mozambique is worrying the international community.