Maputo (AIM) – Mozambique’s main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, on Wednesday called on the Mozambican state to intervene in its own internal disputes, and take measures against the dissidents whom the Renamo leadership calls “deserters”.
The dissidents, led by a group calling itself the “Renamo Military Junta”, say they no longer recognise Ossufo Momade as the President of Renamo. They have threatened to overthrow and even kill Momade, and to replace him, within the next ten days, by somebody more to their liking.
At a Maputo press conference on Wednesday, the Renamo official spokesperson, Jose Manteigas, declared “We are committed to achieving peace, and so the State should take preventive measures. Renamo is publicly distancing itself from these men, and the State should intervene. It is up to the State to maintain public order and security”.
In the recent past, Renamo had demanded that the defence and security forces withdraw from positions near Renamo bases in the central district of Gorongosa. Now it wants them to come back and police a Renamo internal dispute.
Manteigas told reporters that Momade is “calm and tranquil”. Nothing was going to happen to Momade because his opponents “are just deserters”. Momade had been elected President of Renamo at a party congress in January, and he was Renamo candidate for the presidential elections scheduled for 15 October, stressed Manteigas.
The behaviour of the dissidents, he added, “is an attack against peace, national reconciliation and stability”. The statements of the self-styled “Military Junta” were “a performance, a continuation of the gratuitous piece of theatre staged for Mozambicans recently”.
“We are committed to peace, and we are focused on disarmament, demilitarisation and reintegration”, declared Manteigas. “We are also focused on the elections of 15 October, no matter how much these deserters are being financed”.