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File photo: Lusa
The contact group for peace negotiations in Mozambique expects a final agreement to be signed by April, its chairman, Switzerland’s ambassador to the country, announced on Monday.
“As is the wish of many Mozambicans, we also look forward to signing a peace agreement by April that will create the necessary conditions for a definitive peace in Mozambique,” the ambassador, Mirko Manzoni, said in a communique.
The communique follows a meeting in the city of Beira on Thursday between the Joint Technical Group for Demilitarisation, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) of the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) fighters and Brigadier General Javier Perez Aquino, the brigadier-general from Argentina who is to oversee the demilitarisation process.
The joint group, which is based in the capital of the province of Sofala, includes military experts nominated by the parties (Renamo and the Frelimo government), while Aquino leads a group of international military experts. His previous mission was supervising the disarmament of guerrillas in Colombia for the United Nations.
The Beira meeting “is a clear sign that the teams entrusted with working on the implementation of the memorandum of understanding are now discussing the technical aspects of the DDR process,” the statement says.
“While it is the responsibility of both parties to ensure that the activities detailed in the memorandum are implemented in parallel, the Contact Group reaffirms its willingness to, if necessary, provide support,” concludes the communique.
The Mozambican presidency announced on Friday that, following the meeting in the city of Beira, the joint technical group would from now hold weekly meetings to carry out the process.
“”The group agreed to hold meetings on a weekly basis for the preparation of documents and logistical aspects that are necessary for the implementation of the DDR process,” it said in a statement.
The start of the DDR program was announced by President Filipe Nyusi on October 6.
The event marked the arrival of nine international military experts led by 58-year-old Argentinean Javier Antonio Pérez Aquino, whose most recent mission was to oversee the disarmament of Colombian guerrillas for the United Nations.
The DDR process covers an as yet undisclosed number of armed men and is the second part of a definitive peace negotiation that President Nyusi started last year with the late Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama after the ceasefire decreed by him (Dhlakama] in December of 2016.
The first part led to an agreement on the decentralisation of power, achieved in May 2018 and with amendments to the Constitution and the consequent adaptation of electoral laws for this year’s October general election.Source: Lusa
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