Relative calm has returned to the Tsangano trading centre in Ntcheu the border between Malawi and Mozambique, that was rocked by violence between locals on Monday as a Burundian national residing in Mozambique side detained a Malawian trader.
Speculations were rife that the Mozambican military soldiers invaded the Malawi side in a war threatening manner when the messages were put to alert road travellers to avoid the route.
But Malawi Police said there was no such military action.
“What happened is that a Malawian boy was detained by a Burundian boy staying on Mozambique side at Tsangano,” Malawi Police spokesman Nicholous Gondwa said.
“Some other people of bad behaviour, the criminals took advantage [of the situation] and looted some groceries in the Burundian shop,” Gondwa explained.
This triggered chaotic scenes among locals.
Eye witnesses said Mozambique soldiers crossed the boarders armed to the teeth and caused havoc in Malawi confiscating groceries from Malawians, some which were not even part of loot.
Malawi Police made arrests of 12 people over the looting.
The suspects are expected to appear in court Tuesday, police said.
Tsangano Turn Off Trading Centre in Ntcheu along the M1 Road is an almost irresistible stopover for travellers wishing to buy vegetables and potatoes.