MAPUTO, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has met Afonso Dhlakama, the leader of Renamo, Mozambique’s main opposition party and former rebel force, Renamp.

Dhlakama has not been seen in public since he went into hiding at the end of 2015. It is widely believed that he is currently living in a Renamo military base in Gorongosa in the central province of Sofala.

A media statement issued by the President’s office here said that Saturday’s meeting took place in Gorongosa. The two leaders discussed and agreed on the next steps of the peace process, which they hope will be completed by the end of the year,” the statement added.

“They agreed that they would continue their dialogue and closely monitor the work of the two committees, with a view to a new meeting soon to prepare the final steps.”

The meeting between the president and the Renamo leader comes at a time when two committees set up earlier this year to deal with issues of decentralization and military affairs are still working to reach consensus. The groups had reached consensus on various questions, including the agenda for their work, and the mechanism to monitor and verify the current truce.

The key Renamo demand on decentralization is that provincial governors should be elected rather than appointed by the President. This principle seems to be widely accepted, but it will need a constitutional amendment, and that in turn can only be passed with a two-thirds majority in the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic.

In order to achieve a two-thirds majority, the parliamentary groups of the ruling Frelimo Party and of Renamo must agree on the text of the amendment.