MAPUTO– Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has announced that an Argentinian expert will co-ordinate the international contact group set up to support the dialogue between the Mozambican government and the former rebel movement, Renamo, in order to establish a definitive peace in the country.

According to a report in the Maputo newspaper, Noticias, Nyusi made the announcement Tuesday in New York City, where he is attending the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, after a meeting with his Argentinian and Swiss counterparts, Mauricio Macri and Alain Berset.

Up until now, the Swiss ambassador in Maputo, Mirko Manzoni, has headed the contact group. According to Veronica Macamo, the chairperson of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, progress in the peace talks is probable because seven countries have now given a positive response to Nyusi’s request for assistance in the demobilisation of the Renamo fighters.

Those countries, Macamo added, are Switzerland, the United States, Germany, India, Ireland, Norway and Zimbabwe.

After his meeting with Macri and Berset, Nyusi told journalists: We want to undertake profound work with all the transparency required.”

In New York, Nyusi had telephoned the Co-ordinator of the Renamo Political Commission, Ossufo Momade, tp inform him that, in the phase of demobilising and disarming Renamo’s militia, and integrating its members into the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM) or the police, or back into civilian life, a strong team would be necessary with experience in such delicate matters.

He and Momade agreed that, in addition to the seven countries who had accepted the invitation, a specialist indicated by the Argentinian government would be recruited, with experience in the successful management of such dossiers in other countries. We are pleased that our brothers (Renamo) have accepted this,” said Nyusi.

Macri said Argentina felt honoured that it was being asked to join the pacification of Mozambique. Our people have internationally-recognized experience. We accept the challenge and we will do all we can to help bring peace to Mozambique. A team of Argentinians will soon travel to Mozambique.”

Berset said Switzerland had long been involved in the search for lasting peace in Mozambique, but now we want to advance to a new stage.

Also on Tuesday, Nyusi discussed the Mozambican peace dossier with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who reiterated the willingness of his country to support the demobilisation of Renamo fighters.