Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Friday declared that the current demobilization of the militia of the main opposition party, Renamo, is a sign that the path to the consolidation of peace and reconciliation is irreversible.
Speaking to reporters at the end of a visit to the southern province of Inhambane, where he inaugurated a new road linking the towns of Homoine and Panda, Nyusi stressed that "Mozambicans do not accept that there can be no peace in this country".
"The process may have its ups and downs, like any peace process anywhere in the world, but we shall carry it through to the end", he promised.
Nyusi pledged that his government will continue to promote dialogue, within the limits set by the country's constitution, based on respect for ideological, religious and ethnic diversity, and equidistance of future opportunities.
"This is fundamental so that we can give no more space or arguments for war", he added. "We do not regard dialogue as the result of warmongering blackmail to achieve a goal".
That was why, in the framework of consensus between the government and Renamo on decentralization, the Mozambican constitution had been amended last year "to adjust it to the consolidation of the democratic reform of the state and to the deepening of participatory democracy.
Nyusi claimed the country is building its own "Mozambican brand" of decentralization. He believed this decentralization will strengthen harmonious interaction between institutions in the provinces and municipalities, in a framework of tolerance and respect for the laws.
Implementation of the government's five year programme for the period 2020-2024, Nyusi continued, assumes an environment of peace and tranquility. Hence one of the main pillars supporting the programme was "the strengthening of democracy and the preservation of unity and national cohesion".
"It was in the name of peace that we entered into dialogue with Renamo, looking for solutions that would return tranquility to our people", Nyusi said. "With Renamo we reached consensus on government decentralization, on military matters and the demobilization of the residual forces of Renamo".
That consensus was the basis for the current demobilization and disarming of the Renamo militia, and integrating its members into Mozambican society. Nyusi was confident that this process will be complete by June 2021.
But not all the Renamo "residual forces" are accepting demobilization, A dissident faction, calling itself the "Renamo Military Junta", has rejected the peace agreement signed between Nyusi and Renamo leader Ossufo Momade in August 2019, and has continued to launch lethal ambushes against vehicles on the main roads through the central provinces of Manica and Sofala.
The government also faces terrorist raids by a jihadist group linked to the so-called "Islamic State" in several districts of the northern province of Cabo Delgado.
These attacks, said Nyusi, are disturbing the normal evolution of the country's development as laid down in the government's programme. "Our government action is not compatible with violence and disorder", he stressed, "or with the destruction of the fabric of our economy".
The government will do all in its power to face these attacks, Nyusi promised, and to restore tranquility to the people living in the affected provinces.
He pledged that neither the terrorists in Cabo Delgado nor the gunmen of the Renamo Military Junta "will wipe out our history, and they shall not steal our peace and freedom".
Nyusi noted that among the attempts to explain the violence in Cabo Delgado, are claims that the insurgents are waging a religious war, or that the attacks are linked to the mineral wealth of the province, or that ethnic factors are involved, or that regional asymmetries or unemployment are underlying factors.
Some of these speculations might be based on reality, said the President, but that was no reason for people to kill each other.
"We shall remain firm in defending every square metre of this country", pledged Nyusi. Inhambane is a province at peace, but Nyusi urged the people of Inhambane "to remain vigilant and to prepare to defend every inch of your district, of your province, just as we shall all be defending our country".