Maputo — Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Thursday promulgated the Amnesty Law passed on Tuesday by the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, and sent it to the official gazette, the “Boletim da Republica”, for immediate publication.
The amnesty bill was proposed by Guebuza, as one of the guarantees of the agreement on a cessation of hostilities finalized on Monday by delegations of the government and of the former rebel movement Renamo.
The Assembly amended the bill considerably. In its final version the law grants amnesty to all those involved in crimes against state security, military crimes, and crimes against persons and property committed in connection with security and military offences between March 2012 and the present.
At Renamo's insistence, the law also covers several other violent incidents all of which occurred in the central province of Sofala - in Savane in 2002, in Cheringoma in 2004, and in Maringue in 2011.
The bill covers not only all Renamo gunmen, but also any policemen or soldiers who may have committed abuses during the recent fighting. The amnesty is worded broadly enough to cover not only armed rebellion, but also crimes of murder, arson, theft and illegal possession of firearms.
Yet, despite the amnesty, there is still no sign of Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama coming to Maputo to sign the formal document on the agreements reached with the government on Monday.
The government insists that the final stamp of approval on the deal must be put by President Armando Guebuza and by Dhlakama. Renamo, however, says that Dhlakama has authorised Saimone Macuiana, the head of the Renamo delegation to the government-Renamo dialogue to sign on his behalf.
Explaining his attitude in a telephone interview with the independent weekly “Savana”, Dhlakama said he could not come to the capital, because he feared he might be assassinated.