Mozambique Mourns the Deaths of Dozens in Demonstrations
The Mozambican government declared Monday a national day of mourning over the deaths of up to 38 people in violent protests by the main opposition party last week at general election results in December.
The council of ministers expressed its deep sympathy with families who lost their loved ones "in this criminal act", a cabinet statement said.
"The entire country is mourning," the statement from President Joaquim Chissano's government added.
All individuals involved in the violence will be held responsible for their acts, the statement said.
The government said 32 died in last week's protests, but state-run Radio Mozambique has reported 38 deaths.
The Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO), a former rebel movement which has become the main opposition party, staged protests in several cities and provinces on Thursday and Friday at what it claimed were rigged general elections in December 1999.
In northern and central Mozambique, where RENAMO's support is strongest, the demonstrations turned into violent clashes with police.
Until last week, RENAMO's protests at the election results had been of a political or legal nature. The latest demonstrations had been declared illegal by police partly on the grounds that they were held at times of day when such protests are banned -- MAPUTO (AFP)
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