Mozambique: Momade Dismisses Renamo Dissidents As 'Deserters'

Renamo faction leader Major General Mariano Nhongo (left), members of the faction at a conference in Gorongosa mountain (top right) and João Machava, spokesman for the faction (bottom right).

Maputo — Ossufo Momade, leader of Mozambique's former rebel movement Renamo, on Thursday dismissed as "deserters" the Renamo dissidents who have demanded his resignation, and are threatening to remove him by force.

The group calls itself the "Renamo military junta", and claims to enjoy the support of the bulk of Renamo's guerrillas.

But Momade, on his arrival in Maputo on Thursday, after signing with President Filipe Nyusi in the central district of Gorongosa, the agreement on the definitive cessation of military hostilities, dismissed the "military junta" as "undisciplined" and "deserters", thus echoing the remarks made by other Renamo leaders last month.

He did not seem worried by the junta's threat, made on 24 July, that within 10 days they would announce a new leader for Renamo.

Momade pointed out that he had been elected leader of the party at a Renamo Congress held in Gorongosa in January, and where all members had been free to put themselves forwards as candidates.

"Renamo has its bodies and its statutes", he said, "and it's not some individual, a deserter, who will define the political line of Renamo".

Momade confirmed that his move to the capital was definitive. "I have come because of a commitment I gave to Mozambicans", he declared.

He is expected to remain in Maputo, at least until the signing of a complete peace agreement later this month.

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