Mozambique’s National Defence and Security Council (CNDS) has voiced its support for a proposal by President Filipe Nyusi for a face-to-face meeting between the President and Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the rebel movement and now main opposition party Renamo.

The Council at its meeting here Wednesday called for measures to strengthen Nyusi’s invitation to Dhlakama. Since August, Dhlakama has repeatedly refused to meet with Nyusi, and also in August, Dhlakama unilaterally suspended the dialogue between Renamo and the government which had been underway since April 2013.

This month, Renamo has gone back to violence with a string of ambushes against civilian vehicles on roads in the central part of the country.

Dhlakama has cited concerns over his personal security as one of his reasons for declining Nyusi’s invitation. The CNDS thus decided that security conditions must be created for the meeting between the President and the Renamo leader to take place “in order to put an end to the attacks and consolidate definitively the environment of peace and stability, in order to favour the continual socio-economic development of the country”.

The CNDS is a body which advises the President on national security and sovereignty, territorial integrity and the defence of the democratically instituted power. It is chaired by Nyusi and its other members are the Prime Minister; the Ministers of Defence, the Interior, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Transport and Justice; the General Director of the State Information and Security Service (SISE); the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces (FADM) and the General Commander of the Mozambican Police.

Also sitting on the Council are two members appointed by Nyusi, and five appointed by the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic — three by the parliamentary group of the majority Frelimo Party, and two by Renamo.

The brief statement from the CNDS did not reveal whether all its members had attended the meeting, or whether any votes were taken.

Source: AIM