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Published On: Wed, May 17th, 2017

Disarmament of Renamo fighters depends on integration into Mozambican military and police: Dhlakama

nsnbc : Renamo leader Alfonso Dhlakama announced in Nampula that the disarmament of Renamo fighter depends on the incorporation of its guerrillas into the Mozambican Defence Forces (FADM) and the Republic of Mozambique Police (PRM).

Renamo fighters (archives)

Renamo fighters (archives)

Renamo is in the unusual and unconstitutional position to be both a legal political party represented in parliament and an insurgency. The disarmament of Renamo fighters has been a hotly debated topic since the end of the civil war in 1992 – 93.

Part of the European-brokered peace accord between Frelimo and Renamo was that 15,000 troops from each party were to form the core of the FADM. Frelimo, which has been the governing party since, maintains that Renamo never used its quota.

Renamo maintains that it didn’t use its quota because it wasn’t offered enough officer posts. Frelimo responded by stressing that promotions in the military were granted based on qualifications not on party membership.

And thus the debate has been going on, and on, and increasingly so after Renamo in 2012, after the discovery of major natural gas resources, decided to reactivate old fighters and to recruit new ones.

Renamo president Alfonso Dhlakama  (archives)

Renamo president Alfonso Dhlakama (archives)

Speaking via teleconference to hundreds Renamo members in the country’s largest electoral constituency, Dhlakama now said he did not yet feel safe enough to make a public appearance due to the assassination attempts on him in Manica and Sofala in 2016.

The Renamo leader also accused the government of having had some members and sympathizers of opposition parties assassinated, as well as others who disagreed with the ruling party. “After we finally sign the truce agreement and reintegrate our armed men into the ranks of the FADM and the PRM,” everything would be settled, Dhlakama said.

“I will not need security, because we will have a unitary police force that defends the interests of the Mozambican people. Until that happens, I will continue to rely on my own security guards, just as is the case with all the private security companies scattered throughout Mozambique,” he said.

The other issue being debated concerns the adoption of a law providing for elected provincial governors in the context of the decentralisation and de-concentration of power in the country. “I do not wish there to be a return to war, because it slows investments and innocent people die. But everything depends on the ongoing negotiations. We want the process to be swift and that before the end of the year the instruments under discussion will be approved so that we can move to the other steps,” Dhlakama added.

CH/L – nsnbc 17.05.2017

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