The international team mediating in the dialogue between the Mozambican government and the Renamo rebels sayss it is now “harmonising” the response from both sides to their proposals on decentralization, according to the coordinator of the team of mediators, European Union representative Mario Raffaelli.

The mediators have been meeting separately with the government and Renamo delegations, in the hope that a consensual position can be reached and then put before the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, for the necessary constitutional amendments and legislative changes.

Raffaelli told the media here Thursday: “We have had the reactions from both delegations, and now we are working on them. This is the second document we have delivered to the group. We wrote a first one, but they presented their initial reactions which obliged us to revise the document again.”

He stressed that the main objective is to harmonise the reactions from the government and Renamo so that a “consensual document” can be sent to parliament later this month.

“The objective is to guarantee that the package on decentralization should be submitted to parliament by the end of November, and at the same time declare a cessation of hostilities,” said Raffaelli.

He added that the mediating team had been working ceaselessly to achieve this result. However, even if the document does reach the Assembly within the next week, ensuring time to debate it properly will be difficult as the Assembly sitting is due to end on Dec 20, and much of the December sessions will be taken up with debating the government plan and State budget for 2017.

The original proposal from the mediators, leaked to the weekly newspaper Savana in early November, did not address the Renamo demand that it should be allowed to govern the six northern and central provinces where it claims to have won the 2014 general election.

The mediators did not mention this Renamo claim, but made some more general proposals about provincial governance.