MORRUMBENE, MOZAMBIQUE, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has again appealed for patience and patriotism in the search for effective peace in the country, stressing that the peace process is ongoing and will gain impetus in coming weeks.

Speaking to a group of women in the district of Morrumbene on Saturday, on the last day of a three-day working visit to the southern province of Inhambane, he conceded that for those outside of the process it might look like no progress was being made. However, he revealed that in the following weeks, we will accelerate the process to deliver the next steps.

He added that things were happening behind the scenes but explained that he would not say anything further as it might jeopardise the process.

By way of example, the President explained that when it was announced that the defence and security forces would be withdrawn from positions around the Gorongosa mountain range, near where the leader of the opposition party Renamo, Afonso Dhlakama, is currently living, not everyone understood what was happening, a fact that was made worse by pressure from the other side.

The president said he would like women to encourage everyone to contribute positively to peace, as insecurity repels development.

Dialogue with Renamo was continuing through two working groups set up earlier this year. They are composed of representatives of the government and Renamo, together with a contact group drawn from diplomats stationed in Maputo.

One of the commissions is focusing on decentralisation and the other on military matters. These groups have reached consensus on various questions, including the agenda for their work, and the mechanism to monitor and verify the current truce between Renama and the government.

The commission on decentralisation has the mandate to propose draft legislation and amendments to the constitution. One of the key demands of Renamo is that provincial governors be elected rather than appointed by the President. This would require a constitutional change, which can only be passed in the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, with a two-thirds majority. Thus, the work of the commission is to reach a consensus on the way forward.

Some political commentators have expressed concern at the apparent slow pace of the peace process. However, the recent pull out of troops from around the Gorongosa mountain range has shown that progress is being made.