Dhlakama responds to Presidents’s call for team to prepare for dialogue

Maputo, 18 May (AIM) – Afonso Dhlakama, leader of Mozambique’s largest opposition party Renamo, has responded positively to a call by President Filipe Nyusi for a committee to be set up to pave the way for the resumption of dialogue.

Source: Dhlakama responds to Presidents’s call for team to prepare for dialogue – The Zimbabwean 18/5/2016

A dialogue between the government and Renamo began in April 2013. However, after 114 sessions, the discussions were abruptly terminated by Renamo in August 2015.

President Nyusi has consistently called for the resumption of dialogue and for a halt to the violent attacks carried out in the centre of the country by Renamo’s illegal armed militia.

On Tuesday, the President wrote to Dhlakama requesting that he appoint representatives to a joint commission tasked with preparing the terms of reference for future talks.

In a telephone interview later that day with the television station STV, Dhlakama responded that his office will announce on Thursday the names of three representatives who will participate in the commission.

They will meet with the government team set up in April to prepare the ground for a face-to-face meeting between the two leaders.

Until now Renamo has argued that there can be no further dialogue without the mediation of the Catholic Church, the European Union, and South African President Jacob Zuma. In addition, Renamo has demanded that it first take power in the six central and northern provinces where it claims to have won in the 2014 elections.

In his letter to Dhlakama, the President argued that there is no need for mediation before the creation of the joint commission because dialogue would only resume based on the terms of reference agreed by the joint team.

Dhlakama has not been seen for several months and is believed to be in hiding somewhere in Gorongosa district, in the central province of Sofala. During the interview, Dhlakama dismissed rumours that he was dead or in ill health.