Friday, October 25, 2013

Mozambique Peace Under Threat, Says President Guebuza

Mozambique peace under threat: Guebuza

October 25, 2013

MOZAMBICAN President Armando Guebuza says peace in the country was under threat after two days of tit-for-tat violence between government forces and former members of the rebel Renamo group. “Mozambique is currently living through moments in which peace is under threat,” the president said at a community meeting in central Sofala Province.

Renewed hostilities broke out after the army seized a Renamo base during a raid on Monday, prompting the former rebel group to unilaterally annul a 21-year peace deal that ended the country’s civil war in 1992 where a million people perished in the 16-year civil war.

Renamo is demanding a bigger role in electoral bodies, as well as a cut of revenues from coal and gas resources.

The subsequent violence reportedly saw Renamo fighters attack a police station in the region.

The unrest has been confined to the central region, but sparked fears of renewed war between the foes, prompting worried reactions from the UN, the United States, Europe and Mozambique’s neighbours.

“This moment is a test, an examination of our conviction as to whether we really want peace,” said President Guebuza.

“We have to show that we want peace, we don’t want upheavals, and we want to continue to develop”.

The president added that any solution “lies in dialogue”.

According to state media, President Guebuza on Tuesday said attacks by Renamo had forced the armed forces to react in self-defence.

Speaking at a rally in Mucheve in the central province of Sofala, Renamo’s stronghold, and the president blamed Renamo for the recent clashes in and around Satunjira, Mozambique News Agency (AIM) reported.

President Guebuza told his audience, “for some time now, when Renamo men cross paths with soldiers of the FADM (the armed forces) they open fire, obliging the troops to respond in their own defence.”

He however insisted that dialogue between the government and Renamo will continue.

– AFP-Xinhua-HR.

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