Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mozambique riots leave six dead

Josephine Whitaker in Open Security: Six people, including two children, were killed yesterday in Mapuso, the capital of Mozambique, during riots over rising food prices. The fatalities allegedly occurred when police opened fire on demonstrators in the capital, who were protesting rising food prices.

The Mozambican government, which had earlier declared protests to be illegal, has appealed for calm. The president, Armando Guebuza, used a state radio address late on Wednesday to call on citizens not to protest on Thursday. However, police continued to patrol Mapuso this morning, with gunshots reported in some areas of the capital.

The demonstrations come in response to rocketing food prices; the price of a loaf of bread in Mozambique has risen by 30 percent over the last year. The Mozambican currency, the metical, has fallen sharply against the South African rand as wheat prices have increased worldwide. However, the government is planning to raise water and electricity rates by 30 percent today, and increase the price of bread by a further 25 percent at the end of the week….

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