About 1,400 soldiers have defected from the Armed Forces of Mozambique Defence (FADM) according to figures released on Monday by the Ministry of Combatants.
The figures were given by Minister Eusebio Lambo to a meeting between senior ministry officials and President Filipe Nyusi in his report on the past year’s activities. The minister did not give a time frame or specify the alleged reasons.
The figures reveal Tete, one of the main battlegrounds in the current round of political and military tension, as the province with the most defections, where two whole battalions’ worth of soldiers, or 1,170 men, have fled the ranks.
Another large group of 220 soldiers deserted from barracks in Sofala province and are reportedly now refugees in neighbouring Malawi, according to the report.
This is the first time in the country’s recent history that the authorities have announced the number of defections from the armed forces, confirming rumours circulating since the renewal of political and military tension about three years ago.
Although there is no official explanation of the exodus, it can easily be related to the clashes between security forces and armed Renamo men in the centre of the country, especially in Sofala, Manica and Tete provinces, the places mentioned in the information released yesterday.
Source: O País
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