EU expects guerrillas' threat not to affect peace in Mozambique
File photo: sapo.mz
Mozambican journalist and analyst Fernando Lima says that the death of Afonso Dhlakama has set back the peace talks between Renamo and the government, suggesting that the absence of the former leader of Mozambique’s main opposition party has had a discernible impact on the political landscape.
A year after his death, “Afonso Dhlakama is missed in the negotiation process and is missed in Renamo,” Lima says, and this is reflected “in delays in the negotiating process itself “.
In the first phase after Dhlakama’s death, he posits, it was difficult for Mozambican head of state Filipe Nyusi to negotiate with Renamo, which had to be completely “restructured” with the rise of a new leader.
“There is a whole new structure that is being shaped by the [Renamo] party, and that takes time. This has internal implications,” he adds, noting that Renamo’s “autocratic tradition” has further hampered the transition processes.
Although he does not consider that Renamo is much different after the death of its former leader, he does think that it has been weakened by it.
“With Dhlakama, Renamo was a better alternative because, as a machine, it was much better synchronised. But the party remains an alternative – just look at its parliamentary force.”
The current negotiating process between the Mozambican government and Renamo started on August 6, 2017, when President of the Republic Filipe Nyusi went to Gorongosa to meet Afonso Dhlakama.
Following the death of Dhlakama, negotiations continued and the government and Renamo signed a memorandum in August 2018, a document providing for the integration into the army and police of former guerrillas of the largest opposition force in Mozambique.
The document, signed between Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Ossufo Momade, distributes top military posts between Renamo and the government and, at the level of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, provides that out of a total of nine departments, three are to be handed over to opposition party candidates, which has already happened.
In addition to the disarmament and integration of Renamo guerrillas into Mozambique’s armed forces, the negotiating agenda between the two sides involved measures of decentralisation of power, a development realised by the revision of the country’s constitution in July, 2018.
Afonso Dhlakama died on May 3 of last year of health complications.
— Club of Mozambique (@clubOmozambique) May 9, 2018
Massive turnout at #funeral of #opposition leader Afonso #Dhlakama in #Beira, #Mozambique. May he find the #peace which he, lately, was actively promoting! #President #Nyusi honors his legacy with an official ceremony, symbolically most important. pic.twitter.com/ryLzeLziBi
— ADC in Mozambique (@ADCinMozambique) May 9, 2018
Picture of the day: President Nyusi listens attentively to opposition leader A. Dhlakama, during secret meeting to Gorongosa. August 6 2017. pic.twitter.com/6Ip2gqfBbm
— Zenaida Machado (@zenaidamz) August 7, 2017