Mozambique: Senior Officials Sworn in At Defence Ministry

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

Maputo — Mozambican Defence Minister Jaime Neto on Thursday swore six senior military officers into new positions, and demanded of them "readiness, commitment and surpassing your limits".

They should also maintain a civic and disciplined attitude, and good internal organisation, "so that we can meet the challenges which the northern and central theatres of operations pose", the minister added.

The northern theatre of operations refers to the battle against the islamist group that has been terrorising parts of the northern province of Cabo Delgado since October 2017. The enemy in the central theatre is the self proclaimed "Renamo Military Junta", which rejects the peace agreement signed last year by President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Ossufo Momade, and which has carried out a string of murderous ambushes on the main roads in Manica and Sofala provinces.

Among the newly appointed officials are Maj-Gen Victor Muirequetele and Col Joao Baptista Cuinhane as the General Inspector and Deputy General Inspector of National Defence.

At the ceremony, Neto declared "a good inspector is one who, free of any fear of reprisals, seeks tirelessly to carry out scrupulously the norms which guide the good functioning of the institution".

"In this sector we do not want administrative acts which prioritise interests foreign to the State, to the detriment of the effectiveness of the services you have sworn to serve", he warned.

The inspectorate, Neto said, is vital for improving management, and should advise on and correct any illicit administrative acts which hinder the proper functioning of the Defence Ministry.

He stressed that the armed forces should be the first to exercise restraint in public expenditure, and should avoid all practices of nepotism or favouritism in the admission and promotion of staff.

The other four officials sworn in, are the director of Neto's office, Lt-Col Alberto Magudo, the director of the communications department in the general staff of the armed forces, Commodore Anibal Rafael Chefe, the delegate of the Nampula Provincal Recritment and Mobilisation Centre, Lt-Col Cipriano Pio, and the Commander of the Chokwe Productive Unit of the Civic Service, Lt-Col Gil Ganhane.

Anibal Chefe replaces Brig Araujo Maciacona, who recently died. Maciacona was an officer from the ranks of the former rebel movement Renamo, and his appointment, in January 2019, was part of the agreements between the government and Renamo.

Chefe is also a former Renamo officer, and Neto told reporters his appointment is part of the process of the demobilisation, disarming and reintegration (DDR) of Renamo's armed force, a proces regarded as crucial for achieving a lasting peace in Mozambique.

Chefe's appointment is the first public act in the contaxt of DDR since August last year.

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