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Mozambican government, Renamo see need for peace

March 3, 2014

MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) — Leaders from Mozambique’s government and the main opposition, former rebel movement Renamo, agreed Monday that there is an urgent need to end fighting between the two sides amid renewed hostilities.

Talks to end fighting between the two old foes are ongoing in the country’s capital, Maputo.

Senior Renamo parliamentary deputy Saimone Macuina said Renamo would like the peace process to be overseen by an international body. Government minister Jose Pacheco said a common strategy to end the fighting must be found.

An agreement signed between the two parties in Rome in 1992 saw an end to a bitter 16-year civil war, but violence flared up again in May when Renamo gunmen attacked a police station at Muxungue in central Mozambique, killing 5 riot police and injuring several others.

This was followed by government troops storming Stunjira in central Mozambique where Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama was staying, killing a number of Renamo gunmen, and forcing the party leader to flee.

“We must find a common strategy to disarm the Renamo fighters who are attacking government forces and civilians,” said Pacheco.

Renamo has refused to disarm before the government accepts certain demands, such as the scrapping of the electoral law, an end to discrimination against Renamo members and sympathizers, and integration of its fighters into the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM) and the police.

Dhlakama has been ordering attacks against vehicles and health units to attain medicine and other equipment.

Update hourly