Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Friday welcomed the election of Ossufo Momade as President of the country's main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, and particularly his stated commitment to achieving an effective peace.
Momade was appointed interim coordinator of the Renamo Political Commission shortly after the death last May of Afonso Dhlakama, who had led the party since 1979. His leadership was confirmed at the Renamo congress held from Tuesday to Thursday this week at the Renamo military base in the central district of Gorongosa. In the election for leader of the party, Momade secured 61 per cent of the votes.
In a congratulatory message, Nyusi wished Momade success, and hoped "that we shall continue working on the full implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on Military Matters", which the two men had signed in August. This should lead "to achieving a sustainable peace, to the benefit of all Mozambicans".
Nyusi praised Momade's speech to the Congress, in which he pledged that there would be no return to war, and that Renamo will continue its dialogue with the government.
Nyusi believed that progress had been made to consolidate peace, first under Dhlakama's leadership of Renamo, and now in the few months that Momade has been at the party's helm.
"Aware that peace is one of the noblest values of the Mozambican people, we reaffirm our commitment to this process, until we achieve a sustainable and definitive peace", said the President.
"Let us all build the prosperous Mozambique we long for", urged Nyusi.
Hostilities between the government and Renamo came to a halt in December 2016, with a truce declared by Dhlakama. That truce is now indefinite, and there have been no reports of clashes between Renamo gunmen and government forces, or of Renamo ambushes on the roads.
The main unfinished business is the demilitarisation of Renamo - which means the demobilisation and disarming of the Renamo militia, and the inclusion of its members in the armed forces and police, or their reintegration into civilian life.