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The interim leader of Renamo says that the demilitarisation of his party will happen, but only in a “dignified” way. “We do not want to return to the disgrace such as happened after 1992,” Ossufo Momade says in an exclusive interview with DW Africa.
In the interview, Momade confirms that Mozambique still awaits the reintegration of Mozambican National Resistance combatants in the Defence and Security Forces (FDS) within the framework of the dialogue for peace.
On July 21, Renamo was given ten days to submit to the government the list of officers to be incorporated into the FDS. The interim leader of the largest opposition party says that the document is being drawn up and is expected to be signed in the next few days.
Momade also says that Renamo does not need weapons, adding that it suffices that there is “goodwill between the parties”. The Renamo leader says the demilitarisation process that start soon, and in a “dignified and organised” way.
DW Africa: How is the process of integrating Renamo officials into the Mozambican Defence and Security Forces going? Was the deadline established on July 11 fulfilled?
Ossufo Momade (OM): The document is currently being drafted so that the integration of Renamo officers in the FDS can begin. The process has not yet begun, but it is a process that, it seems, will start soon.
DW Africa: There was ten days given to complete the process, from July 11 …
OM: It’s a complex process. In a few days the document will be signed by myself and the head of state, I hope.
DW Africa: Militarisation is one of the factors that distinguishes Renamo from other parties, giving Renamo a certain power that other parties do not have. That’s why some believe that Renamo will not give away its trump card so soon. Does this mistrust make sense?
OM: No, not at all. Renamo is not a party that likes to be militarised. Our leaders and the National Political Commission are not in the bush. There is, however, one wing of Renamo, a residual force that remains armed. At the moment we are in [the middle of] a process, as I have already mentioned.
We have really wanted to see our military personnel integrated in the FDS since 1992, or rather 1994, because they did not have the opportunity or the luck to be promoted. What we want is for them to be able to hold leadership positions in the FDS. After this process we will move towards the integration of Renamo members in the Police of the Republic of Mozambique. And after that, yes, we will proceed to the demilitarisation and the reintegration into the social life of those who will not be able to join the police.
In fact; there is no need for us to have weapons, if there is goodwill on both sides.
We would also like to have some Renamo cadres in the secret services, that is, the SISE, because it is SISE that lays plans to kill and ambush members of the opposition.
DW Africa: With regard to the SISE issue, has any consensus been reached with the President of the Republic?
OM: By the time I was able to talk to the head of the state we had not yet reached an understanding. But I think this is an ongoing negotiation and we would like the other side to accept our principles. We want national reconciliation and there should be no fear of the other party.
DW Africa: Is the disagreement surrounding the process a sign that lack of confidence remains?
OM: I still consider that there is an attempt on the part of the government to blackmail us, so I was clear when members of Frelimo appeared in public to say that the [Assembly of the Republic’s] special session and negotiations could not continue. That was, in fact, blackmail. When the Assembly of the Republic convened the meeting, everyone knew that Renamo had its security. They preferred to spend the money from the public purse, and that everything would have no effect. They preferred to stop doing what had been planned. This is what is wrong with the position of the Frelimo parliamentary bench.
DW Africa: The United States and other countries pledged to support Renamo in the disarmament process. What kind of support is of Renamo’s interest?
OM: We cannot suffer the same fate as we had during demobilisation in 1994, after the 1992 General Peace Agreement. At that point the demobilised man was given a machete, a hoe and a shirt. Now we want a different situation. And when we talk to the international community, we ask them to support this process of demilitarisation and social reintegration of our demobilised people. We want a dignified life, different from the past.
DW Africa: Have you made a proposal to this effect?
OM: Our proposal is not yet very concrete, but, in a nutshell, we want a better life, we do not want to go back to the disgrace of the past.
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Source: Deutsche Welle