28 April 2014

Mozambique: Mozambican Government, Opposition Party Talks Remain Deadlocked, Renamo Insists On Parity in Mozambican Defence and Security Forces

Photo: J. Jackson/VOA
Renamo rebels being re-trained for combat at a remote bush camp near Gorongosa mountains (file photo).

The 56th round of talks between the Mozambican government and the Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo) on 28 April produced nothing new and was again marked by deadlock.

The two sides have not reached an agreement on the international observers' mission. In addition Renamo continues to demand parity in the composition of the Defence and Security Forces (FDS) and made it clear that it will only hand over its weapons to a credible and impartial institution after the government withdraws its troops from Gorongosa District, Sofala Province.

According to the Renamo delegation chief, Saimone Macuiana, the credible institution would be the FDS but only after the incorporation of Renamo's men at all levels.

"Once the parity principle at all FDS levels, principally the Mozambican Armed and Defence Forces (FADM) and the Mozambican National Police (PRM), is accepted, Renamo will hand over its weapons immediately," Macuiana explained.

Renamo was reacting to a national observers' proposal for the creation of a working basis that benefits both sides in resolving the impasse, this would mean trusting the international observers with the cessation of the conflict between government forces and Renamo's armed men.

Meanwhile, the government delegation led by Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco said that the FDS composition proposed by Renamo is unsustainable in terms of the dynamic that the Renamo men might bring.

"Renamo has gone as far as saying that it wants all its reservist soldiers who are receiving pensions to be reintegrated in the FDS."

The two delegations will meet again on 5 May at the government's request.

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