Mozambique: Guebuza Urges Renamo to Lay Down Its Weapons

Maputo — Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Thursday challenged the gunmen of the former rebel movement Renamo to cease their armed attacks, and to exchange their weapons for hoes, so that, like so many other Mozambicans, they can produce food to sustain themselves and their families.

Speaking at a rally in Alto Molocue district, in the final stage of his “open and inclusive presidency” in the central province of Zambezia, deplored the fact that there are still Mozambican citizens who do not understand the importance of peace.

Such people, he continued, do not respect other citizens and their right to live peacefully, free from fear and from any type of threat. “Mozambicans want to work more and better”, he declared.

Guebuza said he was determined to continue the current dialogue between the government and Renamo, so that the Renamo gunmen can lay down their weapons and till the land instead, producing for the good of Mozambicans and for the development which the country needs.

“We don't way to see blood shed, or cars and other goods destroyed”, he stressed. “We believe that through dialogue peace will sooner or later win”.

One of the speakers from the floor of the rally urged Guebuza not to give up on the dialogue. “If he (Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama) wants to be paid, and there's no money, you can ask us. We produce, we'll give money”.

Participants at the rally asked Guebuza, whose second five year term of office is drawing to a close, to advise the candidate of the ruling Frelimo Party in the forthcoming presidential elections, former defence minister Filipe Nyusi, to continue leading the country with the same tenderness and the same ideals.

At a press conference closing his tour of Zambezia, Guebuza said he was confident that the appeals for peace from the public at every place he had visited could help in restoring the peace that Mozambicans need so much.

“As far as I'm concerned, it would have been better if peace had been achieved yesterday”, he said. “The violence should never have restarted”.

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