Mozambique: No Place for Demobilised Renamo Soldiers in Police

Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Saturday said the government cannot include in the police force officers from the former rebel movement Renamo who have already been demobilised from the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM).

Speaking at a graduation ceremony at the Maputo Police Sciences Academy (ACIPOL), Nyusi said the Renamo men to be included in the general command of the police should be those who are currently on active service in the Renamo militia, and this had been decided during his dialogue with the late Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama (who died in May 2018).

The list of ten officers which Renamo had submitted to the government for inclusion in the police "have already been in the FADM", said Nyusi. "Some passed onto the reserve list, and were granted reintegration allowances. They earn wages and pensions just like their colleagues who came from the ranks of the government forces".

If this list were accepted, he said, then the government might as well recall Renamo generals Mateus Ngonhamo and Herminio Morais (who served in the FADM in the 1990s), or former police generals Pascoal Ronda and Miguel dos Santos.

"Let us give opportunities to other young people", he said, "or to other citizens to contribute to the defence of Mozambique".

He said the government remains committed to the dialogue with Renamo, and urged that the process of the demobilisation and disarmament of the Renamo militia, and the reintegration of its members into the defence and security forces and into civilian life should be taken seriously.

He urged those who are not participants in the dialogue to refrain from commenting on matters they know nothing about, "so as not to confuse Mozambicans, including the Renamo guerrillas who are awaiting, with hope and expectation, the outcome of the demobilisation and reintegration process".

At the ACIPOL ceremony, 100 police officers graduated, and Nyusi urged them to perform their duties with honesty and discipline.

"From you graduates, we expect a firm, pro-active, efficient, effective and technically competent posture", he said. "In your day-to-day activities you will face challenges, you will suffer temptation, and sometimes you will be in imminent danger. In any of these situations, you must remember your loyalty to the people whom you have sworn to serve".

He clearly expected some of the graduates to serve in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, where the government is facing a low-level insurgency from a terrorist group believed to be inspired by islamic fundamentalism. He promised that the government would not rest until it has destroyed the structures of the insurgency.

"This is your immediate action which expresses your commitment to the Mozambican people", Nyusi stressed.

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