Maputo — Mozambique's main opposition party, Renamo, has welcomed President Filipe Nyusi's declaration of a seven day truce, to pave the way for the establishment of a dialogue with the breakaway faction that calls itself the "Renamo Military Junta", which has been staging attacks against civilians in the central provinces of Sofala and Manica.
Nyusi announced last Saturday that the Defence and Security Forces would halt their actions against the Military Junta. Despite the truce, on Monday the Junta attacked a bus, injuring several of the passengers.
"The announcement of a truce by the President to the Military Junta is another opportunity for the creation of an environment of understanding", said Jose Manteigas, head of the Renamo Information Department at a Maputo press conference on Thursday. "The move by the President gives substance to the repeated calls by Ossufo Momade (the leader of Renamo), that the Junta should come to its senses".
Momade and Renamo, Manteigas said, encourage the Mozambican President to move forward with the truce which, from Renamo's point of view, aims to ultimately rescue the country's peace and reconciliation.
He reaffirmed Renamo's commitment to the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) of the Renamo militia, politely referred to as Renamo's "residual forces".
"We have always been in favour of peace and our commitment is unwavering, which is why our president is steering the DDR process with total responsibility and serenity", said Manteigas. "We have never ignored our responsibilities".
But despite welcoming the truce, Renamo has ruled out any possible negotiations with the Military Junta.
"We are in favour of peace and national reconciliation, therefore we want reaffirm that besides our political agenda, there is nothing to negotiate with the self-proclaimed Military Junta," declared Manteigas.
He accused the leader of the Junta, Mariano Nhongo, of marching against the principles of Renamo, and regarded the attacks in Sofala and Manica as a problem for the State, rather than Renamo, to resolve, taking into account that they jeopardize human life and dignity and national sovereignty.
The fairly conciliatory tone struck by Manteigas was in stark contrast to the insults hurled at Frelimo by Renamo deputies in the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, during a debate on security matters on Wednesday and Thursday.
Some of the Renamo deputies even launched a conspiracy theory that the Military Junta is under the control of the Frelimo government.