Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Tuesday categorically denied a claim by his own foreign minister, Jose Pacheco, that 400 officers from the former rebel movement, Renamo have been incorporated into the armed forces.
Pacheco's claim came as a total surprise since there was nothing to indicate that such a large number of Renamo men had been recruited into the army. His claim drew an angry response from Renamo representative, Andre Majibiri, who accused the Minister of lying. Majibiri said that to date only 14 senior Renamo officers have been incorporated into the armed forces under the current dialogue between the government and Renamo.
Speaking to reporters in the President's office, Nyusi confirmed that the true figure for Renamo officers incorporated into the defence forces is 14.
Nyusi explained that recently a group of trainees ended a major police course at the Police Academy in Matalane, just outside Maputo. This course included more than 400 demobilised soldiers, but they did not belong to any specific political party. "It might be thought that they're demobilised from Renamo, but they're not", he stressed.
Nyusi admitted that the peace discussions with Renamo are going very slowly. Nonetheless he insisted that the initiative to secure definitive peace has not stagnated. He mentioned in particular a meeting of a group of experts which meant to discuss details at a meeting in Beira on Monday.
He said the main theme of the meeting was the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of Renamo's armed men. "The work is going ahead but it's true there will be no shortage of difficulties. However, we are committed", declared Nyusi.