London — The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, on Monday appointed the Swiss ambassador in Maputo, Mirko Manzoni, as his Personal Envoy for Mozambique.
According to a statement from the United Nations, in this role he "will provide good offices support in facilitating the dialogue between the Government of Mozambique and RENAMO and towards the signing and subsequent implementation of a peace agreement between the parties".
Manzoni has been the Swiss ambassador to Mozambique since 2014 and is the Chief Mediator and President of the International Contact Group in the negotiations between the government and Renamo. He will take up this new post upon conclusion of his tenure as Ambassador.
In August last year, Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi signed a memorandum of understanding with Renamo leader Ossufo Momade, underlining the commitment to lasting peace.
However, despite the two sides making progress in incorporating senior military personnel from Renamo into the country's armed forces, there has been no movement by Renamo towards laying down any of its weapons or demobilising its militia. Nonetheless Nyusi has repeatedly said he believes that the disarmament of the Renamo militia is on track, and will be completed on schedule (that is, by the end of August).
With general elections scheduled for 15 October, the government hopes that by then Renamo will have disarmed, and there will be no private armies in the country.
Guterres is due to visit Mozambique on Wednesday, following a counter-terrorism conference in Kenya.