The team of mediators assisting with the political dialogue between the Mozambican government and the opposition party, Renamo, has requested a short suspension of the meetings of the Joint Commission while they draw up a framework for future deliberations.

The request came over the weekend during the third session of the current round of discussions within the Joint Commission, which is composed of six representatives from the government and six from Renamo.

At the insistence of Renamo, international mediators have been asked to participate in the process.

While the immediate aim of the dialogue is to create the conditions for a face-to-face meeting between President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, the top priority is putting an end to the violent campaign being carried out by Renamo’s armed militia in the central region of the country.

Speaking moments after the end of the Joint Commission meeting on Saturday, one of the international mediators, Mario Raffaelli, explained that it was necessary to draw up a base document to aid negotiations.

Raffaelli did not say how long the pause would be but said that the base document would outline the terms which would guide the political dialogue and thus be an instrument for better discussions and pave the way for concrete results.

He added that during the third session, the government and Renamo presented their proposals for the framework document.

On Thursday and Friday, discussions began with the demand by Renamo that it takes power in the provinces where it claims to have won the 2014 elections.

Mozambique has eleven provinces and Renamo wishes to rule over six of them — the central and northern provinces of Manica, Sofala, Tete, Zambezia, Nampula, and Niassa.

Not all the mediators will attend every session, but they have deputies to assist them.

The full list of mediators is: Ketumile Masire (Global Leadership Foundation); Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania); Ibrahim Msambaho (Tanzania); Angelo Romano (European Union); Mario Raffaelli (European Union); Sir Robin Christopher (Global Leadership Foundation); Jonathan Powell (Inter Mediate); Thanduyise Chiliza, Mandlenkosi Memela, and George Johannes (deputy representatives for South Africa); Edgar Pena Parra (Apostolic Nuncio to Mozambique); Joao Carlos Hatoa Nunes (secretary of the Mozambique Episcopal Conference); the Ambassador of the European Union; and the South African High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Mozambique.