Wednesday, 13 August 2014
Mozambique: Amnesty allows Renamo leader, Alphonso Dhlaklama, to stand in upcoming presidential elections
Mozambique's parliament has approved an amnesty law that will allow Afonso Dhlaklama, leader of the opposition Renamo party, to leave his hideaway in the bush, sign a peace accord with President Armando Guebuza and run in a 15 October election, lawmakers have said.
The law, approved late on 12 August, also applies to Dhlakama's supporters, who have clashed with the army since 2012. The violence raised fears for stability in the southern African nation, which is hoping to attract foreign investment to develop its substantial coal and offshore gas deposits.
The amnesty is part of a peace deal between Renamo and the ruling Frelimo party, adversaries in Mozambique’s 1975-1992 civil war, and means Dhlakama will not face prosecution or arrest for the attacks carried out by his followers over the last year.
The constitution bars the incumbent Guebuza from running for a third term meaning the former Defence Minister, Filipe Nyusi, will run as the Frelimo candidate. Dhlaklama is now expected to travel to the capital Maputo to sign a formal peace accord with Guebuza ahead of the 15 October election, in which he has registered as Renamo's presidential candidate.
For further information please see next week’s issue of Mozambique Politics & Security, which will provide background and analysis about the amnesty deal, otherwise unavailable in the international press.