Analysts advocate inclusion of civil society in peace negotiations - Mozambique
Lusa (File photo) / Afonso Dhlakama
Renamo President Afonso Dhlakama has accused Frelimo of wanting to make the main opposition party in the country lose its head and act in despair through a campaign of political assassinations.
“[Frelimo] wants to make Renamo lose its head and act in despair. Renamo says this is a joke and that we want none of it,” the leader of the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) Afonso Dhlakama said in an interview with the weekly Canal de Moçambique.
The leader of the main opposition party declared that the Mozambican Liberation Front (Frelimo) did not want peace negotiations, and accused the party in power of the murder of Renamo peace process negotiator Jeremias Pondeca in October.
“For this very reason, when Jeremias Pondeca was murdered, everyone was afraid that [Afonso] Dhlakama would break off the negotiations, but I made statements to the press to say I wouldn’t, despite Pondeca’s murder,” the Renamo leader said.
While reiterating his accusation that Frelimo was not serious about the negotiation process, Afonso Dhlakama pointed out that the only alternative was to continue the political dialogue and that that was the only way to avenge Pondeca’s death.
“I, Afonso Dhlakama, believe that one day this will end and I can get out of here. We will not lose our heads, which is what they want,” added Dhlakama.
The leader of the main opposition party said that the government and Renamo were close to an understanding for an end to military violence, implying that the impasse in the negotiations was the government’s fault for proposing to establish a specialised group on the issue of decentralisation, which would work without the presence of international mediators.
“What happened is that Frelimo brought a proposal two weeks ago that surprised everybody. Frelimo wanted a commission within a commission … Frelimo wanted to dispense with international mediation in this group,” Dhlakama said.
During the interview, Dhlakama did not confirm whether he had met Jonathan Powel, a member of the international mediators team, in Serra da Gorongosa, Sofala province, central Mozambique.
“I do not know, I do not remember well, let us leave that part aside,” said the Renamo leader.
Central and northern Mozambique is plagued by military violence following Renamo’s refusal to accept the results of the general elections in 2014, alleging that Frelimo rigged the ballot to keep itself in power.
The work of the government-Renamo Joint Commission stopped last week without agreement on the decentralisation package required by Renamo as a condition for ending the political and military crisis in Mozambique, and the mediators left Maputo, saying they would only return if summoned by the parties.
The Mozambican president said on Monday that he had proposed to Renamo that a task force be set up “without political distinction” or the presence of mediators to discuss the decentralisation package and a peace agreement.Source: Lusa