Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi assured Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, on Thursday that on his visit to Mozambique he has found a truly reconciled nation, at peace, and united in the construction of a society of human dignity and social justice.
He was speaking during the courtesy visit that the Pope made to the Ponta Vermelha presidential palace in Maputo. As if to symbolise his words, Nyusi had invited the leaders of the two main opposition parties, Ossufo Momade of Renamo, and Daviz Simango of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) to attend the meeting.
"You find a people who are united in the goal of building peace", Nyusi told Francis. That goal included "a truly reconciled society" where social justice occupied the top position.
Nyusi said he had used the responsibility which the Mozambican people had given him to take as his priority the undertaking to unite the Mozambican family and create an environment of peace, by establishing a frank and open dialogue with all social forces, while recognising their differences as the diversity of a multi-coloured nation.
He told the Pope that Mozambicans are aware of the challenges they face, but are full of hope and faith that they will overcome all adversities.
Nyusi thanked the Catholic Church for its words of comfort when Mozambique was struck by cyclones Idai and Kenneth, in March and April. He believed that the moral and psychological comfort of the church was decisive, not only in raising international support but also in boosting the morale of the victims.
He also recalled the importance of the Catholic Church, through the Sant'Egidio Community, in mediating the negotiations between the government and Renamo, which culminated in the signing in Rome, on 4 October 1992, of the General Peace Agreement, ending the war of destabilisation.
Nyusi concluded with a declaration that the Pope's visit should help strengthen the spirit of national reconciliation.