25 September 2018

Mozambique: Peace Talks Could Undergo New Dynamic

Photo: wikimedia
The late Afonso Dhlakama (file photo).

Maputo — The negotiations between the Mozambican government and the former rebel movement Renamo to achieve a definitive peace could undergo a new dynamic as from October, the chairperson of the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, Veronica Macamo, declared on Tuesday.

Macamo was representing President Filipe Nyusi at the Maputo commemorations of the 54th anniversary of the launch of the war for Mozambican independence from Portuguese colonial rule on 25 September 1964.

After laying a wreath at the Monument to the Mozambican Heroes, she declared that progress in the talks is probable because seven countries have now given a positive response to Nyusi's response for assistance in the demilitarisation of Renamo. Those countries, Macamo said, are Switzerland, the United States, Germany, India, Ireland, Norway and Zimbabwe.

The term "demilitarisation" refers to the disarming and demobilisation of the Renamo militia, and integrating its members either into the armed forces and the police, or back into civilian life.

"We expect that in early October this process will begin to take on a practical and speedier direction", she said.

The government, political parties, civil society and all citizens should continue to cherish peace, Macamo urged, "so that we can continue to grow as a country and provide well-being for all Mozambicans".

She added that it is the patriotic duty of all citizens, regardless of political party affiliation, religion, race or ethnicity, to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their youth and their lives in the battle to attain Mozambican independence, thus allowing the Mozambican people to become masters of their own destiny.

The anniversary coincides with the start of the official campaign ahead of the municipal elections scheduled for 10 October. Macamo urged citizens to behave with tolerance throughout the fortnight long campaign.

"Let's turn the municipal elections into a moment of festivity, a festival of democracy", she declared, "where the party with the greatest support among the electorate wins, because of the quality of its manifesto and the level of its candidates".

At a similar ceremony in the central city of Beira, the governor of Sofala province, Alberto Mondlane, praised the Mozambican people for sustaining the liberation struggle until independence was won in 1975, and then using the freedom won to develop the country.

"Independence was worthwhile", he said, "but we need to continue working. We need to continue producing more to provide our people with the food they need, and guarantee development. For this, peace plays a fundamental role".

As for the election campaign, Mondlane urged all candidates to show mutual respect, ensuring that the campaign is a festive moment, leading to a sovereign choice by the electorate as to who will govern the municipalities for the next five years.

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