Mozambique: Government-Renamo Commission Will Meet On Wednesday

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has called for Wednesday the first meeting of the teams from the government and the rebel movement Renamo that will prepared the first face to face meeting between Nyusi and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama since February 2015.

A Monday press release from Nyusi’s office said the meeting will take place in Maputo at the Secretariat of the National Defence and Security Council. The statement says that this will be the first meeting of “the joint commission to prepare terms of reference for the resumption of dialogue”.

A dialogue between the government and Renamo took place between April 2013 and August 2015, when Dhlakama abruptly terminated it.

In March the government set up its own three member team to prepare for a Nyusi-Dhlakama meeting, consisting of former security minister Jacinto Veloso, who is a member of the Defence and Security Council, former justice minister Bemvinda Levy, who is now legal advisor to Nyusi, and Alves Muteque, an official in Nyusi’s office.

The government asked Renamo to set up its own delegation which would work with the government team, but initially Dhlakama refused, Instead he demanded international mediation, and suggested that the mediators should be the Catholic Church, the European Union, and South African President Jacob Zuma.

The government saw no reason for foreign mediation in a dispute between Mozambicans. Last week Dhlakama dropped his pre-conditions, and announced a team consisting of three Renamo parliamentary deputies, namely Jose Manteigas, Eduardo Namburete and Andre Magibire.

Nyusi clearly expects the Joint Commission to do its work quickly. At a press conference last Saturday, at the end of his state visit to China, Nyusi warned against any time-wasting manoeuvres on Renamo’s part.

“We don’t want to waste time with hundreds of meetings in the Joaquim Chissano Conference Centre”, said the President. He was referring to the 2013-2015 “dialogue” in which well over a hundred meetings were held in Maputo’s main conference centre, with very few positive results.

Meanwhile Renamo gunmen are continuing their attacks against vehicles on the main north-south road (EN1), in the central province of Sofala. There were two ambushes on Monday against convoys escorted by the defence and security forces.

According to the head of the public relations department in the Sofala Provincial Police Command, Daniel Macuacua, one person died and eight others, three of them from the government forces, were injured in the attacks.

The first ambush occurred along the stretch of EN1 between the Save river and the small town of Muxungue. About 45 kilometres north of the Save, in the area of Pinda, gunmen attacked a bus that was travelling from Beira to Maputo. They injured six people and caused serious damage to the bus. Macuacua said the defence forces returned fire, and drove the Renamo attackers away, allowing the convoy of over 100 vehicles to proceed to the Save without further incident.

The second attack occurred further north, on the stretch of EN1 between Nhamapaza and Caia, on the south bank of the Zambezi.

Here one person was killed and two others injured, but Macuacua did not have further details.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique