Mozambican reform lawyer gunned down

2015-03-03 18:19

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Maputo - Mozambican lawyer Gilles Cistac, who has said opposition calls for decentralisation of power were backed by law, was shot dead in the capital on Tuesday, police said.

Cistac, 54 and of French origin, was in a taxi on his way to work when a car carrying four men pulled up alongside the cab and one gunmen shot him several times, police spokesperson Orlando Modumane said.

The lawyer was a central figure in a debate about the creation of autonomous states in Mozambique, a country that has attracted billions of dollars of foreign investment in recent years after making huge coal and gas finds.

Mozambique's main opposition party Renamo has called for its politicians to govern regions where it won more votes than the ruling Frelimo party in elections last year.

Cistac told local reporters last month that the creation of autonomous regions would be allowed under the constitution, a controversial standpoint given that Renamo has also proposed that Mozambique should be divided into two countries.

There have been concerns in recent years that Mozambique could slip back into conflict after former rebel group Renamo withdrew from a 1992 peace deal that ended a 16-year civil war.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has agreed with Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama that parliament should debate the potential creation of autonomous regions.

Nyusi's team said it condemned Cistac's killing.

"We condemn the attack and demand that the perpetrators are caught and brought to justice," presidential spokesperson Antonio Gaspar told reporters.

Cistac was professor of law at Mozambique's University of Eduardo Mondlane and worked in several government advisory roles.

Read more on:    frelimo  |  renamo  |  mozambique  |  southern africa

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