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Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi declared on Friday that, even during the current election campaign, he has been talking with the leadership of the former rebel movement Renamo about the disarmament and demobilisation of the Renamo militia, and the integration of its members, either into the defence and security forces, or into civilian life.
He told an election rally in the town of Mocuba, in the central province of Zambezia, that he had spoken by phone earlier that day with Renamo leader Ossufo Momade about implementation of the peace agreement the two men had signed on 6 August.
He said Momade had given him guarantees that the demobilisation is going ahead without any problems and will be completed on schedule. This seems most unlikely – all Renamo military bases should have been dismantled by 21 August, but there have been no reports that any bases at all have ceased to exist. No information has been given to the public as to how many men have been demobilised and how many of their weapons have been collected.
A complicating factor is that Renamo has split, and the dissidents calling themselves the “Renamo Military Junta” claim to represent all Renamo guerrillas. It is not known how many of Renamo’s armed men follow the Junta and how many have remained loyal to Momade.
Nyusi complained of the slow pace of demobilisation, but was confident that the process would eventually be successful. Both in Mocuba and at a rally earlier in the day in the district of Maganja da Costa, he urged Renamo fighters to leave the bush, and return to their families and to Mozambican society.
“Come out of the bush!”, he declared in Mocuba. “There is plenty of arable land in Mozambique where you can produce and earn money”.
Nothing can be achieved through war, he warned. “My promise is to work for peace, jobs and work”, he stressed.
He pledged that, if elected for a further five year term of office, he would prioritise development of the countryside, where the majority of the Mozambican population lives, through initiatives such as the “Sustenta” programme, which seeks to boost agricultural production and marketing, and is currently under implementation in ten districts in Zambezia and the neighbouring province of Nampula.
“This is what will end poverty”, he declared, stressing that is through increased production that food security and household income can be improved.Source: AIM