MAPUTO, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has told member of the diplomatic corps accredited in Maputo that he expects a final document from the negotiations between the government and the rebel movement, Renamo, to be concluded soon so that it can be placed before the county’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic.

Addressing dozens of foreign ambassadors who came to the presidential palace to offer their New Year greetings to him Monday, Nyusi added that that a frank and open dialogue with Renamo, which is also the country’s main opposition party, “has been developing serenity and confidence in our capacity to establish consensus and to build a better country.

However, he made it clear that the decentralisation demanded by Renamo, by which Renamo means the election of provincial governors rather than their appointment by the President, must take place simultaneously with the dismantling of Renamo’s illegal militia.

The disarming, demobilisation and re-insertion of Renamo’s men must take place in order for the cessation of military hostilities to be credible.This step should be taken alongside decentralisation, the president said.

“We are working on restructuring the Mozambican armed forces (FADM), a process that will also be the result of consensus, without sacrificing their quality.”

Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama has demanded the appointment of officers from the Renamo militia to senior positions in the FADM and the police, contradicting his assertion that he wants non-political armed forces.

Nyusi’s speech to the ambassadors indicates that he intends to avoid the mistake made by his predecessor, President Armando Guebuza, who in September 2014, signed an agreement with Dhlakama on the cessation of hostilities without a single Renamo militiaman being disarmed or demobilised.

The Renamo insurrection is currently on hold. Following the ceasefire that took effect on Dec 27, 2016, there has been no further Renamo ambush on the country’s roads, and no clash between Renamo gunmen and government forces. But the Renamo militia still exists, and the government is clear that a definitive peace can only be achieved when it is disarmed.