After more than a year of violence involving government forces and Renamo guerrillas, resulting in dozens of Mozambicans deaths and hundreds of injuries, a ceasefire was finally signed. Minister of Agriculture José Pacheco, head of the government delegation and parliament member Saimone Macuiane, head of delegation of Renamo and signed the document on the evening of Sunday, August 24th in Maputo city.
"Mandated by Armando Emílio Guebuza, President of the Republic of Mozambique, and Afonso Dhlakama, Chairman of Renamo, a cessation of military hostilities throughout the national territory is declared with immediate effect," academic Lourenço do Rosário, head of the group of Mozambican negotiation observers, announced at the end of the 74th round of dialogue held at Joaquim Chissano Conference Centre.
The head Renamo negotiator assigned to these talks with the government, Saimone Macuiane, said that after the signing of the ceasefire the country had "entered a new era" and that "the sacrifice [of lengthy negotiations] was worthwhile."
"Today Mozambique enters a new era, a new model for effective democracy where elections can be transparent and there is freedom and justice," he said. "We are creating a real Republic of Mozambique for all Mozambicans, and not a monarchy for select families. We are creating a real rule of law for all, in which everyone feels protected, respected and dignified."
Head of the government's negotiators, José Pacheco, said "being that there is a need to immediately start in implementing the memorandum and subsequently the Amnesty law, a reciprocal and simultaneous declaration of cessation of hostilities is imposed."
"The memorandum of understanding that formalizes the cessation of military hostilities will be endorsed by his Excellency Armando Emilio Guebuza, President of the Republic of Mozambique and Commander-in-Chief of Defense and Security Forces, and his Excellency Afonso Macacho Marceta Dhlakama, President of Renamo, in a public ceremony in the next few days," added Pacheco.
Prior to the consummation of the ceasefire document, the parties reached an understanding made official by the signing of the memorandum of understanding, with guarantees for the implementation of consensus reached during the talks, and the terms of reference for arriving international observers who will monitor the disarmament of Renamo forces and their integration into the government's defense and security forces.
The negotiations between the Government and Renamo have still not finished, as two points of dialogue are still on the table.