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Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi highlighted the importance of Pope Francis’s visit to the country in September for national reconciliation and the conclusion of peace process negotiations.
“It is an important visit, especially at this moment in which we are reconciling, we are moving towards peace. It is an important visit in a country where social justice has to be fully and effectively restored,” Filipe Nyusi said in an interview with Lusa and Euronews on the fringes of the EurAfrican Forum in Carcavelos, Cascais.
Nyusi will meet the Catholic pontiff in the Vatican this week and said he expects a papal visit “with a joint message of promoting peace”, which “will encourage reconciliation among Mozambicans, not only in terms of war but even in terms of religion”.
“Peace, hope and reconciliation” will be the theme of the Pope’s visit, the Mozambican head of state said, recalling that the government and the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo, in the opposition) are concluding peace negotiations and the disarmament of guerrillas.
Filipe Nyusi recalled that the first stage of the peace talks was concluded with the long-serving leader of the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), Afonso Dhlakama, who died a year ago.
“His issue [Dhlakama’s] was decentralisation. There were areas where he thought he had influence and where he should rule,” the Mozambican president said, stressing that this issue “is resolved”.
“Local elections took place on the basis of the new model resulting from the consensus” with Renamo, and provincial and presidential elections will follow in October.
The issue that Nyusi said led to the negotiating table was the disarmament of the Renamo guerrillas, 27 years after the final truce of the civil war.
“We have to complete the peace process, which is not yet finished,” Nyusi said, adding that he wanted to reach an agreement with Renamo soon on how to “disarm, demobilise and reintegrate” the guerrillas.
This is because “managing the post-election environment is very complicated”. “I am very focused on how this will be managed,” said Nyusi, remembering that, the week before vising Portugal, he had discussed the matter with Renamo leader Ossufo Momade.
Renamo’s military arm has been critical of its political leadership recently, but Nyusi remains optimistic about the success of the negotiations.
Ossufo Momade “is managing some turbulence, which is normal”, the Mozambican head of state and leader of the Mozambican Liberation Front (Frelimo) said.Source: Lusa