Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi announced on Friday that the registration of guerrillas of the former rebel movement Renamo has begun, in preparation for the demobilisation and disarming of the Renamo militia.
Speaking at a rally in the Maputo neighbourhood of Bagamoio, at the end of a two day presidential tour of the capital city, Nyusi reiterated that the government's intention is "to demilitarise, demobilise and reintegrate these people into society in a decent manner".
"The registration of these guerrillas has begun", he said. "The project is being developed with the collaboration of Renamo itself".
The government was in continual contact with Renamo "so that we can carry on our dialogue, but above all, so that we can act", he added.
However, divisions within Renamo threaten to derail the demobilisation - Renamo dissidents have even threatened to kill Renamo leader Ossufo Momade, if he does not resign.
Nyusi hoped that Renamo's current problems would not lead it to retreat from its commitment to demilitarise. "We hope they do not change their mind", he said, "because the Mozambican people have no alternative to peace, if they are to be able to produce".
"We want to continue being a tranquil and harmonious country, where we all live together and work for growth", added the President. "And our Renamo brothers who are in the bush expect to return to a normal life".
Renamo fighters could remain in the bush in the central district of Gorongosa, if they liked, he added - but with hoes, and not with guns. If they wanted to be farmers "to produce coffee, maize or sorghum, that will be an added value. We want to see exactly how they can contribute to the construction of the country".
Renamo general secretary Andre Majibire has confirmed that registration of the Renamo guerrillas is taking place. He told reporters in Beira on Saturday that the Commission on Military Matters, set up between the government and Renamo, is currently checking all Renamo bases, and delivering forms to all Renamo guerrillas so that they can indicate how they would like to be integrated into society.