Maputo — The leader of Mozambique's main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, Ossufo Momade, on Tuesday announced that Renamo has delivered to President Filipe Nyusi a list of ten officers to occupy senior positions in the Mozambican police force.
Speaking at a Maputo press conference by telephone, Momade stressed that this list arises from the commitments between Renamo and the government enshrined in the memorandum of understanding that he and Nyusi had signed in August last year.
That memorandum followed up the truce decreed by Momade's predecessor, the late Afonso Dhlakama in December 2016, and was intended to put a definitive end to the military conflict. It envisaged including senior Renamo officers in the armed forces (FADM), the police and the Security and Intelligence Service (SISE), and demobilising those members of the Renamo militia who will not be absorbed into the defence and security forces.
Earlier this year, 14 Renamo officers were incorporated into the FADM military structure. Now, for the first time, Renamo officers will be placed in high-ranking police positions too.
Handing over this list, Momade announced, "represents our unequivocal will to continue with the dialogue and, above all, our desire to see the life of our people return to normal". He urged the government to ensure that these officers are incorporated into the police "as quickly as possible".
Delivery of the list comes a few days after Nyusi had urged the Renamo leadership to be more flexible "to avoid delays and growing frustration of the hope of their guerrillas who are waiting for the restoration of their lives".
So far not a single member of the Renamo militia has been demobilised or disarmed. Indeed, Renamo has not yet announced how many people it still has under arms.
The general commitment is that this force will be demobilised, and those who cannot be recruited into the defence and security forces will be reintegrated into civilian society. There is no timetable for this and the danger is that, by the time of the presidential, parliamentary and provincial elections scheduled for 15 November, Renamo will still have its own illicit armed force.