Maputo (AIM) – Mozambique’s ruling Frelimo Party has called for those responsible for armed attacks against civilian and military targets on the roads in the centre of the country to be arrested and severely punished.
Speaking at a Maputo press conference on Thursday, Antonio Niquice, the Secretary for Mobilisation and Propaganda of the ruling Frelimo Party, said there is no doubt that the attacks are the work of the rebel movement Renamo.
Nonetheless, Niquice continued to prioritise dialogue as the means of overcoming the current tensions. He demanded that Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama and his followers end their attacks, and use the Easter weekend to reflect on the path to follow to attain peace.
“Conditions cannot be imposed on peace”, he said, clearly referring to Dhlakama’s refusal to speak to President Filipe Nyusi unless foreign mediators are present. “Frelimo believes that Mozambicans should not be blackmailed”.
Niquice pointed out that, under the rule of law, no political party is allowed to bear arms. The institutions of the administration of justice were therefore called upon to take measures to hold the authors of destabilisation responsible for their actions, since “in Mozambique, nobody is above the law”.
“Dialogue is the only viable platform for overcoming all misunderstandings”, he said. “Peace can only be maintained by means of dialogue and this has been the commitment of President Nyusi”.
“Unfortunately a minority has embarked on a path of violence characterized by murders, the obstruction of free movement, looting of property and burning of vehicles”, Niquice added.
Frelimo, he said, wants Mozambicans to go about their normal business, going to work, to their fields or to school, freely and without any disturbance.
Nyusi himself, in a message addressed to the Christian community on the occasion of Easter, said the clamour of the Mozambican people for peace will overcome hatred and all the arguments that may be invoked to postpone peace
“As a government. we remain firmly committed to the search for effective peace, a peace that should reside in the hearts of each one of us, above any differences that might exist”, the President declared.