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Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Wednesday in Maputo met with Ossufo Momade, the leader of the country’s main opposition party Renamo. This was the first meeting between the two since they met in the central city of Beira last August.
The meeting at the presidential office lasted two hours and represents a major sign that the dialogue between the two sides is making good progress. In January, when Momade was elected as President of Renamo he told the party’s delegates at Renamo’s military headquarters in the Gorongosa mountains that he would only leave the bush if the dialogue with the government produced encouraging results leading the country to effective peace.
Neither leader spoke to the press following the meeting, but they smiled and shook hands for photographers. Also present was the Swiss ambassador to Mozambique, Mirko Manzoni, who chairs the International Contact Group of ambassadors based in Maputo.
In a press statement, the President’s Office noted that the two leaders met to “review the progress in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding regarding Military Matters and outline the next steps to accelerate the planned actions”. It added that President Nyusi and Ossufo Momade welcomed the progress in incorporating officers from Renamo into the armed forces and the setting up of the Commission on Military Affairs and the Joint Technical Groups which are planning the process of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of Renamo’s forces.
The meeting follows Monday’s appointment of eleven officers from Renamo’s militia to senior positions in the Mozambican armed forces. In total, 14 officers from Renamo’s military units have been integrated into the army as agreed in the dialogue between the two leaders. This is expected to open the way for Renamo to undergo complete disarmament and demobilisation and create the conditions for a final cessation of hostilities agreement in time for October’s national elections to take place without fear of violence.Source: AIM