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The process of demilitarisation, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of Renamo residual forces began yesterday in Satungira.
Historic Satungira, where, in August 2016, the President of the Republic held a meeting with the late Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama in search of peace, was again the scene of an event certain to be recorded in the history of Mozambique.
Early in the morning, Renamo residual forces, men and women – some armed with AKM-type guns and pistols, others with slingshots, but mostly unarmed – began to gather on the same spot where, about two years ago, the President of the Republic and the then leader of Renamo met.
They were all anxious. While they waited for the process to begin, they talked vividly, indicating that they were ready for the event, which was to be conducted by the military commission composed of members of the Defence and Security Forces, Renamo commandos, and military experts from several foreign countries, namely Argentina, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ireland, Germany, India, Norway, and the USA.
This was the actual beginning of the DDR process destined to cover 5,221 Renamo guerrillas in Sofala, Inhambane, Tete, Niassa and Nampula provinces.
The disarmament of at least 50 guerrillas was scheduled for the first day of the start of the DDR process but, by the time the team of journalists deployed to cover the event was leaving, only six men had handed over their weapons. The remaining 44 had none, and have only registered for the follow-up to other procedures which will include cantonment in structures now being erected, also at Satungira.
Services will be set up to issue demobilisation cards and identity cards, among other documents.
The military commission undertook the registration of the names of the guerrilla and the registration of weapons, including number and country of manufacture. After demilitarisation, the men were sent to the registration and reintegration pavilion.
Renamo president Ossufo Momade, who launched the process, expressed the wish that it should be as humane as possible.
“From this historic ceremony of great symbolism, we hope that the values will prevail that we will no longer commit the mistakes of the past. We are for a humanised and dignified reintegration. Hence we await the fulfilment of promises of support made by both the Government and the international community to make this goal a reality,” Momade said.
Renamo hoped the launch of DDR would prove the turning of a new page in the history of Mozambique, he added.
“We want free, fair and transparent elections on 15 October, so that there is a fair winner. We want democratic coexistence to be a culture between political parties. We want the axe of terror never to be unearthed,” he said, reiterating his commitment to complying in the letter and spirit with the Memorandum of Understanding of 6 August, 2018.
Major General Eugénio Mussa, who represents the government in the military commission, said that the greatest desire of all the forces involved in the process was for effective peace to be achieved.
“It is our wish and expectation that the process will continue until the final peace is reached. We are aware that the commitment, dedication and direct involvement of the President of the Republic will continue to be decisive for the achievement of this goal, for which all Mozambicans strive,” were his words on the occasion.
By Francisco RaivaSource: O País
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