Mozambique: Government and Renamo Will Work Against Gunmen

Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi declared in the central city of Beira on Thursday that the government and the former rebel movement Renamo will work together to hunt down those who insist on continuing armed violence after the signing, earlier in the day, of an agreement on the definitive cessation of military hostilities.

Speaking at a rally in Beira, shortly after the signing ceremony in Gorongosa district, Nyusi called on Mozambicans to respect the agreement. "There are enemies who don't like peace", he said. "I have heard today that there are a group of people who have appeared and are threatening people. These are enemies of peace, and they are not necessarily from Renamo".

Cited in Friday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias", Nyusi said he had discussed the matter with Renamo leader Ossufo Momade, and they had agreed that the government and Renamo "will join forces to seek out these people who are opening fire or continuing to hold guns".

Nyusi may have been thinking of an armed attack against a bus in Nhamapadza, in the central district of Maringue, on Wednesday in which unidentified gunmen opened fire against a bus and a truck, according to the Portuguese news agency Lusa. No fatalities were reported, but two people were injured.

The truck was immobilised, but the bus managed to continue its journey in the direction of Gorongosa.

Nhamapadza is an area that was frequently the site of Renamo ambushes during the last outbreak of the Renamo insurgency in 2015-16. No-one has claimed responsibility for the Wednesday attack, but it could be linked with the dissident Renamo gunmen who have threatened to overthrow, and even kill, Ossufo Momade.

Nyusi told the Beira rally that problems are not solved through guns, and Mozambicans must remain reconciled with each other and respect their differences. Arguments about who was responsible for bringing peace are futile, he added, since those who really bring peace "are those who don't cause any confusion".

The President said that, under the agreement, the government must facilitate the return of people displaced during the conflict to their home areas. Renamo is obliged to surrender its weapons, and not acquire any new ones. It must deliver a full list of is armed men, and must not recruit any more.

By 21 August, Renamo must dismantle all its military bases, to allow people to circulate at will throughout the county.

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