MAPUTO� Efforts to secure an effective peace in Mozambique are the task of all, asserts President Felipe Nyusi.

Speaking at a rally in the Mulima administrative post, in Chemba district, about 1,400 kilometres nirth of the capial, Maputo, on Monday, the first day of a working visit to the province of Sofala, Nyusi thanked the public for all the encouragement he has received during the negotiations between the government and the rebel movement, Renamo.

I want to say once more that this work belongs to all of us. The prayers ask for peace, the songs ask for peace, the speeches ask for peace. This means that peace is a joint task for all of us, he added. Those of us who are at the head of the process are simply interpreting the will and courage of the people. With their encouragement, we shall continue until we have achieved what the people want in this country.”

He re-affirmed that he had resumed dialogue with the new leadership of Renamo, following the death on May 3 of Afonso Dhlakama, who had led Renamo since 1979. Two days after Dhlakama’s death, the Renamo Political Commission appointed a former general secretary of the party, Ossufo Momade, who had held the rank of general in the Renamo army, as interim co-ordinator.

I don’t like to talk much when things haven’t yet ripened, but I already said, when I received the Ugandan President (Yoweri Museveni), that I have begun talking with the new Renamo leadership to see if, from where we were, we could make progress,” said the President.

He said he was doing all he could to ensure that the talks did not run aground. We want children smiling and without fear, we want their parents, men and women, going to work without fear. We want to live in peace, developing this Mozambique. This is the essential objective of Mozambicans right now, he said.

The talks between the government and Renamo, involving frequent phone contacts between Nyusi and Dhlakama, and the occasional visit by Nyusi to Dhlakama’s military base in the central district of Gorongosa, centred on two themes — decentralisation of administration and the dismantling of Renamo’s illegal militia.

In February, Nyusi announced a consensual position on decentralisation, notably on the indirect election of provincial governors and district administrators. This consensus was worked into constitutional amendments which are now before the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic.