Mozambique: Partners Impatient At Slow Pace of Renamo Demobilisation

President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Ossufo Momade (file photo).

Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi admitted on Tuesday that the country's international partners are showing signs of impatience at the delay in concluding the demobilisation and disarming of the militia of the main opposition party, Renamo, and integrating its members back into society.

Speaking at a press conference in London, at the end of the UK-Africa Investment Summit, Nyusi said that those countries (such as the UK) that had been interested in supporting the demobilisation of Renamo are losing patience, because the deadlines laid down months ago have not been respected.

Nyusi signed a general peace agreement with Renamo leader Ossufo Momade on 6 August. This envisaged that all Renamo military bases would be dismantled by 21 August: but there have been no subsequent announcements that any bases at all have been dismantled.

Only a handful of Renamo fighters were demobilised after the peace accord, and few of them handed over any guns. Just ten members of the Renamo militia were recruited into the police.

"I think we will have to speak quickly with Renamo", Nyusi told the reporters in London. Cited by the independent newssheet "Mediafax", he said those countries that had offered support "want to see things moving ahead, so that they can release the funds, and support integration into the population".

Renamo blames the government for the delay. It says its men are waiting for demobilisation in the bases, but insists that the government must provide them with "decent reintegration".

The British government, Nyusi said, has offered money for the demobilisation of between 200 and 300 million pounds (260 to 390 million US dollars). One of the conditions for releasing those funds will be knowledge of the real number of men Renamo has under arms - and Nyusi warned that "nobody invests in countries without security".

A complicating factor is the split in Renamo between the mainstream of the party, led by Momade, and the self-styled "Renamo Military Junta", under Mariano Nhongo. It is far from clear where the loyalties of the bulk of the Renamo fighters lie.

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