Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Elections hold key to elusive Mozambique peace deal

Elections hold key to elusive Mozambique peace deal

Aside from Mozambique’s upcoming October elections, both the government and the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) have announced that they have made significant progresses in peace talks and are close to reaching a deal. Government spokesman, Gabriel Muthisse said both sides have made concessions on the main points of disagreements.

Negotiators have been pursuing common grounds on issues including the integration of Renamo men in the army and the withdrawal of the army's soldiers near Gorongosa. One of four Renamo spokesmen, Saimone Macuiana, who leads the Renamo delegation in talks with the government, had said that they will soon be able to publish the terms of reference for international observers who will oversee disarmament and a ceasefire.

Bishop Dinis Sengulane, one of the mediators of the talks and who was in London last week, has told Mozambique Politics & Security that this should happen on time to allow RENAMO leader, Afonso Dhlakama, to campaign for elections. He has also hinted that some of the outstanding issues may have to wait until after the elections.

Sources say that Dhlakama is expected to return to Maputo to launch his presidential campaign sometime in August. As for a possible meeting between Dhlakama and President Guebuza, the Renamo leader says that the detention of his spokesman Antonio Muchanga has made him reconsider that possibility. According to him, Guebuza has invited him to Maputo to arrest or assassinate him.

For more news and expert analysis about Mozambique, please see Mozambique Politics & Security.

© 2014 Menas Associates

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