Mozambique: Chief of Staff of Military Junta Surrenders

Maputo — The Chief of Staff of the dissident "Renamo Military Junta", 65 year old Paulo Nguirangue, has surrendered to the Mozambican defence and security forces, according to a report in Friday's issue of the independent daily "O Pais".

Presented to reporters in Beira, Nguirangue said he wanted to take part in the demobilization and disarming of the Renamo militia, and the reintegration of its members into Mozambican society.

He said he had been appointed the Junta's Chief of staff in August 2019, the year the Junta was set up in opposition to the elected Renamo leader, Ossufo Momade. Later in the year the Junta launched its campaign of ambushes against vehicles on the main roads in Manica and Sofala provinces.

Nguirangue claimed he only joined the Junta under pressure from its leader, Mariano Nhongo, who threatened to have him killed if he refused the "invitation" to join.

He also alleged that the Junta received logistical support from a former Renamo deputy, Sandura Ambrosio, although the latter has denied any connection with the Junta.

Last September, the Dondo district court in Sofala sentenced Ambrosio and four others to a five year suspended sentence for conspiring against the security of the state. Ambrosio was accused of "clandestine recruitment" for the Junta.

Daniel Macuacua, the spokesperson for the Sofala provincial police command, told the reporters that Nguirangue surrendered earlier this week, after his group had been pursued by the defence forces.

He promised that Nguirangue will indeed be included in the demobilisation of what are known as Renamo's "residual forces".

Macuacua urged other members of the Junta to follow Nguirangue's example and surrender.

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