700 protest over war pensions in Mozambique

MAPUTO — More than 700 Mozambican civil war veterans and their families gathered in the country’s capital Maputo on Wednesday during a second day of protests to demand pensions from the government.

The group of veterans, widows, children, and siblings began a camp outside the prime minister’s office on Tuesday, singing revolutionary songs and brandishing placards.

“We want the government to pay us a pension of 12,500 meticals ($470, 340 euros) per month for each demobilized war veteran, as well as the integration of former militiamen and their widows in the scheme,” the leader of one of the veterans’ associations, Herminio dos Santos, told AFP Wednesday.

“We don’t want dialogue with the ministry (of war veterans), we want direct talks with the president or the prime minister.”

Dozens of police officers armed with AK47 rifles and riot gear watched over the protest as nervous authorities fear an outbreak of riots after unrest in September last year left 14 people dead.
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