26 August 2014

Mozambique: Armed Forces Will Not Pull Out of Gorongosa

Photo: DW
Afonso Dhlakama accuses the government of sending army to Gorongosa.

Maputo — The Mozambican armed forces (FADM) have no intention of abandoning their positions in the central district of Gorongosa, according to Defence Minister Agostinho Mondlane, cited in Tuesday's issue of the independent newsheet “Mediafax”.

Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the former rebel movement Renamo, is currently living in a base somewhere in Gorongosa, and Renamo has frequently demanded that the FADM withdraw from nearby positions. However there is nothing in the Sunday agreement on cessation of hostilities between the government and Renamo that would oblige the FADM to leave any of its positions.

Speaking on Monday at a Maputo press conference, Mondlane said the FADM can and should be in any part of the country at any time.

Asked when FADM units would be moved from Gorongosa, Mondlane replied “Where would they go to?”

The armed forces could be anywhere in Mozambique “in defence of the Mozambican people and carrying out the missions they receive from the Mozambican people”, he stressed.

Mondlane guaranteed that, as far as the government is concerned, the agreement on an end to all military hostilities will be carried out to the letter.

“There are understandings that the government and Renamo have reached at the dialogue table”, he said. “These understandings are expressed in documents and these documents are made public, and everything has to be done as stated in those documents”.

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