Mozambique parliament ratifies peace

2014-09-08 20:31

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Maputo - The Mozambican parliament on Monday ratified a peace deal aimed at ending nearly two years of low-level warfare between the government and the armed opposition party Renamo ahead of elections on 15 October.

The agreement signed by lower-level representatives on 24 August was confirmed by President Armando Guebuza and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama on Friday.

The agreement foresees the integration of Renamo fighters - estimated at a few hundred - into the army and police force, to which they will hand over their weapons.

However, the agreement does not give a timetable for the disarmament process, which is due to be supervised by foreign military observers.

The observers will include experts from Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Cape Verde, Portugal, Italy, Britain and the United States.

The team, which will be headquartered in Maputo under the command of a Botswanan brigadier, was expected to arrive in Mozambique on Tuesday.

The elections will pit Dhlakama against Felipe Nyasa, the candidate of the ruling party Frelimo to succeed Guebuza, who may no longer run for president after serving two terms.

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

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

Dhlakama has contested every election since the civil war, but has always lost.

Renamo holds 51 seats in the 250-member parliament.

Read more on:    frelimo  |  renamo  |  afonso dhlakama  |  armando guebuza  |  mozambique  |  southern africa  |  mozambique elections 2014

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