Frelimo, Renamo sign peace

2014-08-25 21:16

Maputo - Mozambique's Frelimo government and the Renamo main opposition party have signed a formal end to hostilities, sealing a peace pact ahead of a presidential election scheduled for 15 Oct, negotiators from both sides said.

The signing of the document late on Sunday declared an end to nearly two years of sporadic clashes between armed partisans of Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama and the security forces of President Armando Guebuza's government.

Elements of the peace accord had already been announced in recent weeks between the former civil war foes, including an amnesty law approved two weeks ago that will allow Dhlakama to leave his temporary hideaway in the bush and run for the presidency in the coming election.

The low-level clashes between Renamo guerrillas and the army and police since 2012 had raised fears of a lapse back to the chaos of the 1975-1992 civil war in the southern African state, which is developing big coal and offshore gas deposits with foreign investors.

Dhlakama, whose Renamo party has lost every election to Frelimo since the end of the war, had taken his fighters back to the bush after accusing Guebuza and Frelimo of unfairly monopolising political and economic power in the country.

"The declaration of the cessation of military hostilities which we've just signed is made in the spirit of good faith and represents the will of all of Mozambique's people to establish peace and harmony in our country," said Renamo's negotiator Saimone Macuiane, who initialed the document with the government representative, Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco.

The accord, which is expected to be ratified by Dhlakama and Guebuza in a public ceremony in coming days, foresees the demobilisation of Renamo's fighters and their integration into the national army and police, a process that will be overseen by foreign military observers.

Gorongosa mountain base

It will allow Dhlakama to leave his bush base in central Sofala province and begin campaigning for the 15 Oct elections.

Speaking on Monday in a conference call to journalists from his Gorongosa mountain base, Dhlakama said he had communicated news of the ceasefire accord to his armed units. "They've received the orders and promised to obey," he said.

The Renamo leader added he was looking forward to meeting Guebuza. "I don't know if it'll be in Maputo or Beira ... but there's good will on my side and a lot to talk about," he added.

The constitution bars Guebuza from running for a third term and former Defence Minister Filipe Nyusi will run as the Frelimo candidate.

Whoever wins the Oct. 15 vote will face the challenging task of bringing to fruition major coal and offshore natural gas investment projects that have the potential to bring billions of dollars to a nation that was in ruins two decades ago.

Mozambique's resource-led boom involves investors including Brazil's Vale, London-listed Rio Tinto, Italy's Eni and U.S. oil firm Anadarko.

  • John Greystoke - 2014-08-25 21:43

    That is good. For some reason, I don't know why, I am glad about this!

  • Jackson Edson Afonso Paunde - 2014-08-25 22:02

    Because peace is great for everyone. And i mean everyone.

  • Rui Obed Muchenga - 2014-08-25 22:13

    Tank God mozie is @ peace again. Blessed are those who pray/d for you peace.

  • Thenjiwesindi Mkhumbane-Ndinisa Mkhumbane-Ndinisa - 2014-08-25 22:51

    thank you God,

  • Sakhile Goodman Sokhela - 2014-08-26 06:17

    Very thoughtfull of Renamo's leader hope he's realised that foreign influence that provide him with arms and money is looking at exploiting the masses and gaining the mineral wealth of their country in his hands.

  • Khule Dlamini - 2014-08-26 07:15

    hopefully all these mozambicanz and portugeuse that have flocked into our beloved country will finally go back home

      Rodrigues Tembe - 2014-08-26 14:24

      @Khule, do you really think that the struggles that you people are facing socially, economically, etc are caused by Mozambicans or other migrants in your country? I understand that most of you are concerned about job losses due to foreigners etc. But let me ask you a question: do these foreigners also prevent you guys from finishing high School, University, etc? How many Mozambicans work in South Africa in Sipervisory levels and top management positions? The influx of migrants cause lots of problems such as crime rate and so forth and that is not only limited to your beloved country. In my country Mozambique, we also face the issue of migrants coming from almost alover Africa and as a result, the crime rate has skyrocketed. We were were not used to being highkacked and shot at on broaday light but that is how it is these days. We are slowly becoming Johannesburg. However, we can not only sit and complain about foreigners, we try our best to get ourself educated and search for opportunities anywhere even if we have to sacrifice our freedoms, stay away from our beloved ours etc. It is up to you and your government to make changes that can benefit all of you and rid yourself from all the foreigners.

  • Glen Freebie - 2014-08-26 08:00

    For Now .....

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