MAPUTO– Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has announced the establishment of four working groups set up by the government and the rebel movement, Renamo, in order to implement the memorandum of understanding signed between the President and the Renamo’s national co-ordinator, Ossufo Momade, earlier this month.

The memorandum is aimed at achieving definitive peace, which will involve disarming and dismantling the Renamo militia, and incorporating is members into the armed forces and the police, or re-integrating them into civilian life.

After the initial negotiations between Nyusi and the late Renamo leader, Afonso Dhlakama, a truce took effect from Dec 27, 2016. That truce has held to the present and there has been no further Renamo ambush on the country’s roads, and no clash between Renamo and government forces.

However, Renamo, now the country’s mai opposition party, still maintains its militia, in violation of the 1992 peace agreement between the government and Renamo. The size of this militia is unclear, since Renamo has never issued any figure about its forces.

The four groups set up on Wednesday are a Commission on Military Affairs, and three Joint Technical Groups — on Disarmament and Re-integration: on incorporating Renamo militia members into the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM) and the police; and on monitoring and verification. All these groups were to start their work immediately.

Nyusi announced that the government team on the Commission on Military Matters consists of three senior military and police officers � Maj-Gen Eugenio Mussa, Lt-Col Manuel de Oliveira, and first deputy police commissioner, Paulo Chacine.

Renamo’s team on the commission consists of civilians — Andre Majibire, the Renamo national election agent and a member of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, Leogivildo Buanacasso, the unsuccessful Renamo candidate for mayor of the northern city of Cuamba in a 2014 by-election, and prominent parliamentarian Eduardo Namburete, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Maputo in 2008.

All three have prior experience of negotiating with the government. Most recently, Magibire and Buanacasso were members of the Renamo team that negotiated a decentralisation package with the government in 2017, leading to this year’s constitutional amendments providing for the election of provincial governors and district administrators.

Nyusi said that the Commission will be in charge of planning all activities concerning military matters, and should ensure the definitive cessation of military hostilities. It should ensure the disarming and demobilisation of the Renamo armed force, and propose measures to prevent any possible violations.

The three technical groups consist exclusively of military and police officers. They are the Technical Group on Disarmament and R-eintegration; the Technical Group on Incorporation into the FADM and police; and the

Technical Group on Monitoring and Verification.

Nyusi said the Technical Group on Disarmament and Reintegration will draw up a disarmament plan, and will receive information from Renamo on how many armed men it has, and the weaponry they possess. It will carry out surveys and interviews of the Renamo militiamen to identify how they can be re-integrated into society.

The group must ensure the complete disarming of Renamo, and ensure that all former Renamo bases are completely free of military equipment and of explosives.

The Group on incorporating Renamo militiamen into the FADM and police must supervise the training of Renamo officers, and study all the case files on the list of Renamo officers supplied by the Renamo leadership. It must also ensure compliance with the calendar for recruitment into the defence and security forces. It will be based in the central city of Beira.

The final technical group must monitor and check the entire process and will make regular visits to the centres where the Renamo armed men are accommodated. Since it is continuing the work began in Gorongosa in 2017, it will be based in Gorongosa, where Renamo’s military headquarters is located.

In addition, there remains an international contact group, chaired by the Swiss ambassador. The other members of the group are the ambassadors of the United States (as deputy chair), Britain, the European Union, China, Botswana and Norway. This is the continuation of the contact group set up at the start of the dialogue between Nyusi and Dhlakama.