Maputo — Chimoio (Mozambique), 8 Mar (AIM) - The Mozambican government and the main opposition party, Renamo, on Monday launched the demobilisation, disarming and reintegration (DDR) of members of the Renamo militia in the central province of Manica.
To date the demobilisation of former Renamo guerrillas has only taken place in the neighbouring province of Sofala. With the expansion of DDR into Manica, it is expected that 782 members of the Renamo militia will be demobilised.
The launch ceremony was held in Chiuala, in Barue district. This is an area where a major Renamo military base has been established for many years.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Secretary of State for Manica, Edson Macuacua, said that DDR is a stage that will terminate in winning an effective peace for Mozambique.
"This moment will be marked indelibly in the history of the reconstruction of this country", he said. "The silent diplomacy of President Filipe Nyusi has very visible results, one of which we are now witnessing, as we move towards the construction of the Mozambique we all long for".
"We as a government are prepared at all levels to guarantee the success of all phases of the DDR", declared Macuacua.
He urged community and religious leaders and other members of society to receive the demobilised Renamo fighters as brothers, and work jointly with them for the growth of the country.
He promised that the demobilised fighters could count on the full support of the Mozambican state. "This state is your state", Macuacua said, "and you should feel at ease in any part of the province and of the country. As from today you are leaving military life and are becoming civilians. You are leaving your guns and picking up hoes".
They would be "living normally, like other Mozambicans", he added. Other fighters still in the bush "should not be afraid, because the Sate is prepared to receive everyone in an environment of security, peace, inclusion and friendship among Mozambicans".
Renamo general secretary Andre Magibire said that this phase of the DDR will cover not only Renamo fighters, but also eight former guerrillas who have defected from the dissident Renamo Military Junta.
"This shows that the DDR is here to stay", declared Majibire. "It's a reality. To those covered by the demobilisation, we would like to say that, as from today, you will be working with other Mozambicans in the construction of the country. And in any situation of lack of understanding, you must find other ways of solving problems, since it's been shown that guns only bring misfortune".
"This is the moment of effective reconciliation between Mozambicans", he added. "We don't want guns to solve our differences any more. Dialogue must continue to be the main strategy for the preservation of effective peace".
Under the DDR the demobilised guerrillas will benefit from the opening of bank accounts, and the provision of basic documents such as birth certificates.
The DDR arose from the peace agreement signed in August 2019 between President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Ossufo Momade.