Mozambique: Renamo and Government Teams Meet Behind Closed Doors

Teams from the Mozambican government and from the rebel movement Renamo, set up to prepare a face-to-face meeting between President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, met for the first time on Wednesday morning at the headquarters of the National Defence and Security Council (CNDS).

All three members of the government team were present – former security minister Jacinto Veloso, who is a member of the CNDS, former justice minister Benvinda Levi, who is now an adviser to Nyusi, and Alves Mutuque, an official in the President’s office.

Only two of the Renamo team attended, Jose Manteigas and Andre Magibire. The third, Eduardo Namburete, is not currently in Maputo.

All three of the Renamo team are members of the Renamo parliamentary group.

The meeting was held behind closed doors and no member of either team spoke to the press after the meeting ended. Instead it was promised that the conclusions of the meeting will be issued in the form of a press release.

Also on Wednesday, the Renamo national spokesperson, Antonio Muxanga, gave a press conference at which he called for a halt to what he termed “attacks by government forces”. He claimed that such attacks are currently under way in the central district of Gorongosa, as the defence forces approach Satunjira, the area where Dhlakama is currently holed up.

However, the government insists that the real attacks come from the Renamo side, which has continued to ambush vehicles travelling on the main roads in the central provinces. Thus on Monday one person was killed and eight injured in two Renamo ambushes against the main north-south highway (EN1), both in Sofala province.

President Nyusi himself said last Saturday that the defence and security forces are under instructions not to take the offensive.

Speaking at a press conference at the end of his visit to China, Nyusi said the government’s response to the latest attacks was “to urge the defence and security forces to remain calm, not to rise to provocation, but to defend the people and protect the convoys on the roads”.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique