Mozambique talks restart after Dhlakama death: party

2018-05-24 20:13

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Mozambique peace talks have restarted after the unexpected death of rebel leader Afonso Dhlakama earlier this month threatened to end the tentative negotiations, his party said on Thursday.

Face-to-face talks between President Filipe Nyusi and Dhlakama, the head of the Renamo opposition party, began after a truce ended unrest that erupted from 2013 to 2016.

Dhlakama played a key role in advancing the peace process, and his death from a suspected heart attack aged 65 threw the talks into doubt.

"We contacted the Presidency of the Republic and received a good signal and we reopened the dialogue," Alfredo Magumisse, spokesperson for the Renamo party, told reporters.

"We are continuing to speak with the government."

At Dhlakama's memorial service, the president had said that he wanted to continue talks.

The 2013-2016 unrest raised fears of a return to the bloody 16-year civil war that Renamo fought against the ruling Frelimo party until 1992.

Renamo, which operates both as an opposition party and as an armed militant group, is demanding better integration of its supporters into the police and military - a major sticking point in any peace deal.

Frelimo has ruled the country since independence from Portugal in 1975.

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Read more on:    renamo  |  mozambique  |  southern africa

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