Dialogue between government and Renamo resumes today

Maputo (AIM) – The political dialogue between the Mozambican government and the opposition party Renamo resumes today in Maputo.

Source: Dialogue between government and Renamo resumes today – The Zimbabwean 09.08.2016

According to the daily newspaper “O Pais”, the international mediators assisting with the discussions began arriving in the country on Saturday, with others expected to land in the capital today.

The team representing South African President Jacob Zuma arrived on Sunday morning. Speaking on behalf of the team, Thanduyise Chiliza said, “we think that things are going well and that the people of Mozambique will resolve the issue peacefully. We are here for the resumption of talks and we hope that we can find the best solution”.

On Sunday afternoon, three representatives of the Global Leadership Foundation arrived. The team is composed of Chester Crocker, former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; Robin Christopher, former British diplomat; and Quett Masire, the former president of Botswana.

On arrival, the Global Leadership Foundation group was given a diplomatic escort due to the presence of the former president.

The dialogue in the presence of the mediators began on 20 July but reached an impasse on the first item on the agenda. This is the demand by Renamo that it rules in the provinces where it claims to have won the 2014 elections. Mozambique has eleven provinces and Renamo wants to take power in the central and northern provinces of Manica, Sofala, Tete, Zambezia, Nampula, and Niassa.

In pursuit of this demand, Renamo has been waging a violent armed campaign in some parts of the centre of the country, killing civilians and disrupting road and rail traffic.

On 27 July, the negotiators announced a break in their participation, citing logistical reasons. However, they have returned as promised for today’s meeting with the Joint Commission.

The Joint Commission is composed of six representatives from the government and six from Renamo. Its formal role is to create the conditions for a meeting between President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama.

During their short stay in Maputo in July, the international mediators also held two meetings with President Nyusi, and talked to Dhlakama by telephone twice (he is rumoured to be hiding in the Gorongosa mountains in the central province of Sofala).

The international mediators were invited by the two sides. However, the Joint Commission has pointedly stated that it sees the mediators as one block, and not invitees of one party of the other.

Not all of the mediators attended the opening of the talks. However, the full list of mediators is: Ketumile Masire (Global Leadership Foundation); Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania); Ibrahim Msambaho (Tanzania); Angelo Romano (European Union); Mario Raffaelli (European Union); Sir Robin Christopher (Global Leadership Foundation); Jonathan Powell (Inter Mediate); Thanduyise Chiliza (South Africa), Mandlenkosi Memela, and George Johannes (deputy representatives for South Africa); Edgar Pena Parra (Apostolic Nuncio to Mozambique); Joao Carlos Hatoa Nunes (secretary of the Mozambique Episcopal Conference); the Ambassador of the European Union; and Mandisi Mpahlwa (the South African High Commissioner).