MAPUTO, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has announced the creation of a “Contact Group” made up of several foreign ambassadors who will support current efforts to seek a “sustainable peace” in the country through the ongoing dialogue with the Renamo rebel group.

A media statement issued by Nyusi’s office says the group has been set up “in the framework of the dialogue to achieve effective and lasting peace”, and in the wake of the telephone conversations between Nyusi and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama.

The statement says that the contact group “will provide co-ordinated financial and technical assistance, and carry out other tasks as indicated in their terms of reference”.

The Contact Group will be chaired by Swiss Ambassador to Mozambique Adrian Hadorn, and co-chaired by the United States Ambassador Dean Pittman. The other five members of the group are the ambassadors of China, the European Union (EU) and Norway, and the High Commissioners (ambassadors) of Botswana and Britain.

The Contact Group, who will start work this week, is intended to advise the two working groups appointed last month by Nyusi and Dhlakama, to work on decentralization and on military issues.

Nyusi appointed two academics and jurists, Albano Macie and Eduardo Chiziane, to the working group on decentralization. Renamo’s appointees to this group are Saimone Macuiana and Maria Joaquina, who are both former members of the National Elections Commission (CNE). Macuiana headed the Renamo side in the negotiations that produced the September 2014 agreement on a cessation of hostilities, an agreement that Renamo refused to implement.

For the working group on military questions, Nyusi appointed two retired army officers, and veterans of the independence war, Gen Armando Panguene and Col Ismael Mangueira. Panguene is also one of the country’s top diplomats who has served as Mozambican ambassador to Lisbon, London and Washington.

The Renamo members of this group are parliamentary deputy Andre Magibire and Leovilgildo Buanancasso, who is currently a member of the Council of State, a body that advises the President of the Republic.