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Lusa (File photo)
The Mozambican education minister said yesterday that the situation in areas where there had been conflict between the Defense and Security Forces and Renamo had normalized and that schools that had been closed are back in operation.
“All the schools that were closed due to this situation were reopened and, fortunately, things are underway in the most normal way,” Minister of Education and Human Development Conceição Sortane told Lusa at a book donation ceremony in Maputo.
Official figures released earlier this year indicated that around 20,000 students in Mozambique’s central provinces risked failing final exams in November last year due to unrest in the central part of the country.
Conflicts between the Defence and Security Forces and the armed wing of the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), the main opposition party, caused thousands of students to miss lessons and closed dozens of schools mainly in Manica, Zambézia and Sofala.
Although the beginning of the school year was marked by some fear in the former conflict zones, Sortane said, the truce between the parties “gave back hope” to Mozambicans, and it was already possible to see the schools in these regions full again and functioning normally.
“The truce was the most important moment for us,” Sortane said, noting that peace and stability are basic preconditions of government strategies for the education sector.
Calling for the involvement of everybody in the attainment of a definitive peace, the governor said: “We believe that peace has come to stay, for the good not only of our students, but of the entire population.”
In recent years, Mozambique has experienced a political and military crisis marked by clashes between the Defence and Security Forces and the armed wing of the largest opposition party, which claims victory in the general elections of 2014 and demands to govern in six provinces.
In late December, as a result of telephone conversations with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama declared a one-week truce as a “gesture of goodwill”, having extended it twice to make room for negotiations which are now focused on decentralization and military affairs.
In early February, the Mozambican president announced the end of the negotiations phase involving international mediation and, a few days later, announced the names of the individuals who will discuss these two agenda items.
The two groups have the task of following up the work begun in the previous negotiation process, and first contacts are already being established in a process that will be accompanied by six ambassadors accredited in Maputo and the EU representative in Mozambique at the invitation of the Mozambican president himself.Source: Lusa
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