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Malawians attack Burundian traders in Mozambique over abducted boy

03 May 2016, 13:14Brian Ligomeka, News24 correspondent

Lilongwe - Malawians living in a small rural border town of Tsangano crossed the border into Mozambique on Monday, attacking Burundian traders who allegedly abducted a boy from Malawi.

Malawian police spokesperson Nicholas Gondwa told News24 that a joint operation with their fellow law enforcers in Mozambique brought the commotion to an end.

"There were indeed ugly scenes at Tsangano, a trading centre which lies on the border between Malawi’s Ntcheu district and Mozambique’s Tsangano district in Tete Province. When quelling the violence, which saw Malawians attacking Burundians plying their trade on the Mozambican side of the border, we forgot about the national boundaries and entered each other’s purpose with one sole aim of restoring law and order," said Gondwa. 

He added: "We could not just stand and watch Malawians roughing up Burundians, looting property and damaging buildings on the Mozambican side of the border."

Gondwa also confirmed that one Burundian trader had abducted a Malawian boy, who has since been rescued.

"We will find out what happened for the Burundian trader to kidnap a boy from Malawi and in the process ignite the confrontation," said Gondwa.

The attacks in Mozambique came almost a week after neighbouring Zambia witnessed several xenophobic attacks against Rwandan and Burundian traders.

The violence in Zambia was sparked by rumours that foreigners were carrying out ritual killings.

Ritual killings were a problem in parts of Africa where, some people believe magic potions or ceremonies can bring them success in business and life. 

Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia hosted a number of political and economic refugees from Africa’s Great Lakes region.

Most economic refugees from Burundi, Rwanda and Ethiopia operated successful small shops to the annoyance of the locals.

- News24 Nigeria


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