Mozambique: Political Leaders Sign Peace Deal Ahead of Papal Visit

At the signing of the peace deal on August 7, 2019, from left, President Filipe Nyusi, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Renamo leader Ossufo Momade and European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini.

Maputo — President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique and the leader of the Mozambican National Resistance ( RENAMO) Mr Ossufo Momande signed a peace accord on Thursday August 1, to end years of hostilities that followed a 15-year civil war.

The ceasefire comes weeks before Pope Francis' planned September 5 visit to the country, guided by the theme "Hope, Peace and Reconciliation".

"We want to assure our people and the world that we have buried the mindset of using violence as a way of resolving our differences," Mr Momade said after the signing ceremony.

"This agreement opens a new era in the history of our country in which no Mozambican should use weapons to resolve conflicts," President Nyusi said

The two leaders shook hands and embraced after penning the deal on a mounted stage where a white tablecloth carried the inscription, "Peace: Final agreement on cessation of hostilities" at Gorongosa National Park, near the RENAMO headquarters where the group has maintained an armed base for more than 40 years.

The accord will be followed by another agreement to be signed by the leaders in Maputo on August 6 pledging peace in the October 15 General Elections.

According to a program released by Vatican, the pope's visit to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius will take place from September 4-10.

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