Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi announced on Friday that the main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, has delivered a corrected list of the officers it wants to see integrated into the police force.
Speaking at a rally in Mulotana locality, in Boane district, Maputo province, Nyusi said the new Renamo list includes men currently living in the bush in the main Renamo base, in the central district of Gorongosa.
The government rejected the previous list of ten Renamo officers to be given senior positions in the police force because they were people who had already served in the armed forces (FADM), and were now demobilised or retired. According to Nyusi, this violated the agreement between the government and Renamo, under which it was people currently serving in the Renamo militia who should be given police jobs.
Nyusi said the government will now assess the new list submitted by Renamo. "But in itself, the delivery of the list is advantageous", he added.
Including Renamo officers in the defence and security forces is a key step towards the disbanding and disarming of the Renamo militia, which the government hopes to complete by the end of August.
Nyusi told the rally he will do all in his power to ensure that the moves towards a definitive peace are not compromised - but to achieve this, he needed the help of all Mozambicans.
Since this is a matter that may require changes in legislation, the President said he did not rule out calling on the good offices of the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic.
That might require an extraordinary session of the Assembly. "If it is necessary to ask parliament to meet, I will do so, because there are questions that affect the laws, and this does not depend on me", said Nyusi.
The current sitting of the Assembly is due to end next week - but Nyusi is clearly prepared to extend it for a few days, or to hold a special session in August.
"The peace process hasn't stopped", he said. "The objective is for us to go into the elections (scheduled for 15 October) without any armed political parties".
Nyusi also denied claims that nothing is being done to halt the terrorist raids in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, where people are being murdered and property destroyed by gangs apparently inspired by Islamic fundamentalism.
"Sometimes Mozambicans are offended by people who say nothing is being done, while young people in the defence and security forces, in the midst of adversities, are doing all they can to end the problem", the President stressed.
He added that some of those behind the attacks are not Mozambicans, but are hiding behind Mozambicans to achieve their hidden goals.
He urged his listeners to be vigilant since terrorist recruiters are enticing youths to Cabo Delgado with false promises of employment - anyone who accepts is likely to end up in the ranks of the insurgents.