10 December 2012

Mozambique: Second Meeting Between Government and Renamo

Photo: Renamo
Leader of the Mozambican National Resistance, Afonso Dhlakama.

Maputo — Delegations from the Mozambican government and from the country’s largest opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, met in a Maputo hotel on Monday for a second round of talks.

The delegations are headed by Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco and by Renamo General Secretary Manuel Bissopo. Neither of them made any statement to the press before the meeting began, and they are not expected to say anything until Monday evening.

Renamo had requested an audience with the government, and the first meeting was held a week ago. It achieved nothing other than an agreement to hold a second round.

Renamo insisted that the second round should be held somewhere in the central provinces, but Pacheco said such a demand made little sense, since both the government and Renamo have their headquarters in Maputo. Renamo quietly backed down, and agreed to attend the second meeting in the same hotel as the first one.

After the first meeting, Bissopo told reporters that Renamo had presented five concerns – namely defence and security, elections, exclusion from the benefits of economic growth, removal of party dominance over the state, and access to the public administration.

But Pacheco said Renamo had presented its problems in vague and general terms. He hoped that in the second meeting Renamo would present specific issues, justifying its complaints.

“If there are specific questions, they should be much more precise about them so that the relevant bodies can, in the future, take decisions about the concrete matters that are of concern to Renamo”, Pacheco said.

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