Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tension Rising in Mozambique
August 19, 2016

MAPUTO. — Tension is rising in Mozambique. The government and the rebels are locked in negotiations to hammer out a peace deal, but there are conflicting reports as to whether they have succeeded. When Renamo’s chief negotiator Jose Manteigas faced the Press in Maputo on Wednesday, he said the government and the former Renamo rebels had reached an initial agreement which would pave the way for “lasting peace.” Under the deal, Renamo-appointed governors would take power in six of Mozambique’s 11 provinces, which the party claimed it won in elections in 2014, Manteigas maintained. Both sides had also agreed on the way forward to decentralise power in Mozambique, a key Renamo demand, he added.

“The president’s delegation and the Renamo delegation agreed to set up a sub-committee tasked with preparing a legislative package to come into force before the next election,” Manteigas told reporters. But only a few hours later, hopes that the simmering conflict between Renamo and the government would now come to an end were dashed. Chief government negotiator José Veloso said “there is no decision at all.

And if anyone says that the government has agreed to appoint governors from Renamo for six provinces that is wrong. It is not true,” the news agency Lusa reported.

The confusion about the peace deal raises fears of more violence in the former Portuguese colony. A decade-long civil between both sides claimed more than a million lives. It came to an end in 1992.

In 2015, Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama went into hiding again after he had lost presidential elections to government candidate Filipe Nyusi.

The two sides entered into peace talks in early August 2015.

They were joined by a mediating team chaired by Botswana’s former president Sir Ketumile Marise.

Representatives of the Catholic church, the European Union and South Africa were also present. But while the talking continued, the country was engulfed in a fresh wave of violence.

— Deutsche Welle.

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