Moz peace deal: Botswana to lead military observers

2014-09-05 13:22
Afonso Dhlakama (AFP

Afonso Dhlakama (AFP

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Cape Town – Botswana is set to lead a team of 23 foreign military observers who will monitor the implementation of the peace accord between Renamo and ruling Frelimo in Mozambique ahead of a crucial election, a report has said.

According to The Independent, an International Observer Military Team for the Cessation of Military Hostilities (EMOCHM) in Mozambique has been put into place and will be headed by a brigadier from Botswana, assisted by four colonels: a Zimbabwean, an Italian and two Mozambicans.

Mozambique's government and the rebel Renamo signed a ceasefire last month ending two years of armed conflict and clear the way for elections which are expected on 15 October.

Meanwhile, Afonso Dhlakama, who is the leader of Renamo, came out of hiding on Thursday to prepare for the election. According to AFP, he met his former rival Armando Gurbuza on Friday and the two parties sealed the deal.

Dhlakama told Al Jazeera just after he arrived in Maputo on Thursday that he was well although he feared being assassinated. But he said his safety has been assured.

Watch the video below

Dhlakama left the Gorongosa Mountains in central Mozambique and flew to Maputo, where 2 000 supporters welcomed him at the airport.

Renamo waged a 16-year civil war against the Frelimo party, which has governed Mozambique since independence from Portugal in 1975.

"My absence from Maputo was a sacrifice worth taking, because it has brought significant gains ... for the Mozambican people and the political parties," Dhlakama said in a reference to a new electoral law allowing parties to post representatives at polling stations without the threat of arrest.

Afonso Dhlakama
Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama is welcomed upon his arrival at the Maputo International airport. (AFP)

The Institute for Security Studies tweeted:

A 1992 peace deal turned Renamo into the biggest opposition party, but it launched a campaign of highway ambushes and other attacks in 2012, accusing the government of excluding it from political and economic power structures.

The elections will pit Dhlakama against Felipe Nyasa, the Frelimo candidate to succeed Guebuza.

Read more on:    frelimo  |  renamo  |  afonso dhlakama  |  armando guebuza  |  mozambique  |  southern africa  |  mozambique elections

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