Maputo (AIM) – Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the Mozambican rebel movement Renamo, on Friday announced a further two month extension of the truce his forces have been observing since late December.
Source: Dhlakama orders ceasefire extension – The Zimbabwean 04.03.2017
Speaking from a Renamo base somewhere in the central district of Gorongosa, Dhlakama declared “as from zero hours tomorrow, 4 March, a new truce takes effect, lasting until 4 May”.
Initially, the truce was only for a week, beginning on 27 December. Dhlakama announced the truce after phone conversations with President Filipe Nyusi. In early January the truce was extended by a further two months, to 4 March.
In the Friday phone contact, Dhlakama confirmed that he remains in regular phone contact with Nyusi, and guaranteed that the peace talks “are on a good path”.
He also announced that a new figure “of recognized merit” internationally will join the “contact group” announced by Nyusi on Tuesday. Dhlakama did not announce the name of this figure..
The “contact group” consists of seven ambassadors resident in Maputo, and its co-chairs are Swiss ambassador Mirko Manzani, and US ambassador, Dean Pittman. The statement from Nyusi’s office announcing the creation of the contact group said it “will provide coordinated financial and technical assistance, and carry out other tasks as indicated in their terms of reference”.
This assistance is to the two working groups that Nysui and Dhlakama have set up, one dealing with decentralization and the other on military questions. Members of the two groups, and of the “contact group”, met in Maputo on Wednesday.
Nyusi announced that he and Dhlakama had agreed that the two groups can begin working “because the Mozambican people are in a hurry to live definitively in peace”.