Maputo — Quelimane (Mozambique), 9 Jun (AIM) - Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Sunday appealed to veterans of the national liberation struggle against Portuguese colonial rule to use their knowledge and experience to advise the defence and security forces in their battle against the terrorist groups active in parts of the northern province of Cabo Delgado.
Speaking in his capacity as President of the ruling Frelimo Party, Nyusi was opening a meeting of the National Committee of the Association of the Veterans of the National Liberation Struggle (ACLLN) in the central city of Quelimane.
He described some of the constraints which had blocked the normal pace of developments - including the economic and financial crisis, corruption, the two cyclones that hit Mozambique in March and April, and particularly the terrorist attacks, inspired by Islamic extremism, in Cabo Delgado.
"These are some of the constraints which have been limiting the capacity of the government to carry out some development projects as we had desired", Nyusi said.
The terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado will be the subject of a specific debate in the meeting. Cabo Delgado is a province well known to many veterans since it was here that the independence war was launched, in 1964, and it was in Cabo Delgado and that Frelimo established its first liberated areas. Given this history, Nyusi believed the veterans could advise their successors, the current defence and security forces.
Nyusi said this meeting of the ACLLN National Committee should be a moment for the veterans "to recharge your energies" in order to guarantee a comfortable victory for Frelimo in the general elections scheduled for 15 October.
The ACLLN is one of Frelimo's "social organisations", alongside the Mozambican Women's Organisation (OMM) and the Mozambican Youth Organisation (OJM).
With less than five months to go before the elections, Nyusi believed the meeting took on a special significance. "We have come here to align our strategy", he said. "We have come to fine tune our tactics for another front in the political and democratic struggle, so that we may win comfortably the elections of 15 October. This should be the central agenda guiding the ACLLN debates".
He added that preparations for electoral victory was also the agenda of the recent meeting of the Frelimo Central Committee, which drew up guidelines for the party, its members and its social organisations.
Nyusi reiterated that "right now, our target is to win the elections. Our objective is to govern the country responsibly and to develop Mozambique".
He warned that it was no part of the meeting's purpose to discuss the agendas brought by Frelimo's opponents. It would be a better use of the meeting's time to seek solutions to the problems facing the ACLLN and Frelimo.
Among the themes to be discussed, Nyusi said, were questions related with the lives of the veterans, including their pension rights, their access to medical care and funeral allowances, and access to scholarships for their children and other dependants.
"At this meeting, we expect an open and frank debate which suggests solutions to the various problems of the ACLLN, of Frelimo and of Mozambicans in general", the President added.