Maputo — Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party has urged the factions of the main opposition party, Renamo, to take advantage of the seven day truce declared by President Filipe Nyusi to establish a dialogue that will end murderous attacks in the central provinces of Manica and Sofala.
The self-styled "Renamo Military Junta", led by Mariano Nhongo, denies the legitimacy of Renamo President Ossufo Momade, although he was elected to lead the party at a Renamo Congress in January 2019.
Nhongo rejects the peace agreement signed by Nyusi and Momade in August 2019, and for more than a year the Junta has been ambushing vehicles using the main roads in Manica and Sofala.
On Saturday, Nyusi offered a unilateral week long truce in the war in the central provinces, in the hope that his will allow the Junta to join the current demobilisation and disarming of the Renamo militia.
Speaking at a Maputo press conference on Monday, the Frelimo Central Committee Secretary for Mobilisation and Propaganda, Caifadine Manasse, urged Renamo to take advantage of the truce "to find itself again", and embark upon a dialogue with the Military Junta.
Such a dialogue, he said, was important so that the current demobilisation of Renamo's armed forces, and the reintegration of its members into society, could be truly comprehensive.
"The truce is an opportunity for the Renamo leadership to make a reflection", said Manasse. "Mariano Nhongo should also make a deep reflection". The two factions should come together "for the sake of the development of this country".
He praised Nyusi for "continuing to search for effective peace", and urged him to continue on this path.
But Nhongo shows no sign of halting the Junta's attacks. Speaking to the German agency, DW Africa, which he has frequently used to transmit his views, Nhongo made it clear that he wants a dialogue, not with Momade, but with the government.
No state structure had contacted him to open a dialogue, he said. He was willing to talk, but only with Nyusi, and not with Momade.
Once again he demanded that Renamo trample on its own democratic structures, and remove Momade from office. In this incoherent interview, Nhongo also declared "when I hear and see that Frelimo is interested in peace, I shall send my men to negotiate with Frelimo".