Mozambique: PM Urges Rebel Leaders to Accept Offer of Dialogue

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Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario has recently urged Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the rebel movement Renamo, to accept the invitation from President Filipe Nyusi “for a constructive and unconditional dialogue in order to find paths that lead to n effective and lasting peace”.
He was speaking in the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, in response to questioning from deputies about the current politico-military tensions. He recalled that on Tuesday , speaking at the opening of the 2016 judicial year, President Nyusi had declared that, despite the resumption of murderous Renamo attacks in the centre of the country, “our determination for the maintenance of effective peace remains unshakeable”.
Rosario stressed that “in any civilized and democratic state, there is no place for armed political parties. Thus the possession of guns by Renamo to blackmail the state and the population and force its rise to power by means of force is contrary to democracy”.
He warned that the illegal possession of weapons, ”disturbing public order and the maintenance of peace, is a situation towards which the defence and security forces must never remain indifferent”.
He added that the Mozambican people would not let themselves be divided along regional lines, or by the repeated threats by Dhlakama that Renamo will take power by force in six northern and central provinces as from this month.
Rosario urged Renamo to hand over its weapons voluntarily to the armed forces. He pointed out that, under the Mozambican constitution (which Renamo voted unanimously for in the assembly in 2004), political parties are banned from resorting to armed violence to change the political and social order in the country.
Renamo parliamentary spokesperson, Carlos Cruz, claimed that the Renamo militia was a legitimate force, envisaged under the 1992 peace agreement between the government and Renamo.
But Rosario retorted that the clause in the agreement which allowed Renamo to use its own men to protect its leaders is time bound.
It is one of a series of “specific guarantees” in force only for the period between the 1992 ceasefire and the first multi-party general elections, held in October 1994.
Renamo’s recurrent resort to the peace agreement to justify the existence of is militia was just “manipulation of public opinion”, said the Prime Minister It made no sense, he added, for Renamo to continue to claim the right to bear arms more than 20 years after the peace accord, and after not one, but five general elections had been held.
“There are no easy methods for difficult problems”, said Rosario. “But it’s through constructive dialogue, and not through war, that we can seek and find what unites us and now what divides us. This is the true path for reconciliation and harmony n the Mozambican family”.

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