Maputo (AIM) – The joint commission formed between the Mozambican government and the rebel movement Renamo announced on Monday that letters are being sent to potential mediators who will take part in a dialogue which ought to culminate in a face-to-face meeting between President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama.
Source: Invitations being sent to mediators – The Zimbabwean 22.6.2016 by AIM
Speaking in the name of the Commission, the head of the government delegation, former security minister Jacinto Veloso, said he thought that formal invitations would be dispatched within the next three days, and he hoped for “very speedy replies”.
The government had initially opposed calling in foreign mediators, on the grounds that Mozambicans are quite capable of dealing with their own problems. But Renamo refused to engage in further dialogue without foreign mediators at the table.
So last week Nyusi reversed the government position, and announced “If the problem is to have somebody else present while we are discussing, then let Dhlakama come with whoever he likes, and we will talk so that he ends the attacks. Let him come with these people, and we shall see what will happen. I am ready”.
The mediators suggested by Renamo are the European Union, the Catholic Church and South African President Jacob Zuma.
Veloso admitted that Renamo’s demand means that a Nyusi-Dhlakama meeting will only be possible in the presence of mediators. Exactly what the mediators will do is not yet clear. Veloso said the mission and responsibilities of the mediators are still being defined.
No date has yet been fixed for the Nyusi-Dhlakama meeting, nor has Renamo suspended its military actions in the central provinces.
At earlier meetings, the Joint Commission reached agreement on four agenda points. The two proposed by the government are an immediate end to military hostilities, and the disarming of Renamo.
Renamo, however, wants to talk about the composition of the defence and security forces, and governance of the six northern and central provinces where it claims that it won the October 2014 general elections.
But the claim that Renamo won in Manica, Sofala, Tete, Zambezia, Nampula and Niassa provinces is untrue. There were three simultaneous elections, and in none of them did Renamo win in six provinces.
In the presidential election, Dhlakama topped the poll in Manica, Sofala, Tete, Zambezia, and Nampula. But in the parliamentary election, Renamo only won in Sofala and Zambezia. In the election of provincial assemblies, Renamo won a majority of seats in the assemblies in Sofala, Zambezia and Tete. In Niassa, the ruling Frelimo Party won all three elections.