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Renamo President Ossufo Momade (file photo)
Renamo leader Ossufo Momade says that the challenges to his leadership result from the action of a “group of undisciplined deserters”, which underscores the importance of the peace agreed with the government.
“When we went to the congress, we made room for everyone to run. The congress elected Ossufo Momade. It is not through a group of undisciplined deserters that we will define our line,” Ossufo Momade told the press late Thursday (Aug 1), moments after landing at Maputo International Airport, where he was greeted by hundreds of party members after the peace agreement was signed earlier in Gorongosa.
At issue are the protests of a group led by Renamo Major General Mariano Nhungue, self-styled leader of the ‘Renamo Military Junta’.
The group demands the resignation of Ossufo Momade, accusing him of “kidnapping and isolating” party officials who supported late party president Afonso Dhlakama, who died on May 3 last year.
Ossufo Momade points out that Renamo has statutes and political structures to guide people who hold different opinions. “It is an undisciplined group,” he says, emphasising that “the most important thing now is peace”.
Ossufo Momade, who had been living as interim leader at one of Renamo’s main bases in the Gorongosa mountains since June 2018 after Afonso Dhlakama’s death, also promised that if the agreement was fulfilled he would not return to the mountains.
“I came here [to Maputo] because of a commitment I made to Mozambicans and if this agreement is fulfilled, I will not go back,” the man who was elected president of Mozambique’s largest opposition party in January said.
Attack in the centre of the country
Ossufo Momade refused to comment on Wednesday’s attack on a passenger bus and a truck in Nhamapadza, 200 kilometres from where the agreement was signed.
The attack came just hours after the Mozambican president announced in parliament that he had signed the agreement to end military hostilities with the Renamo leader.
In recent weeks, a group of guerrillas in the armed wing of the main opposition party has warned the government that it would continue military hostilities in the country if the government signed the agreement ending military hostilities with Ossufo Momade, demanding that he resign as president of Renamo.
The agreement signed on Thursday in the Gorongosa Mountains formally marks the end of clashes between government forces and the armed wing of the main opposition party. The parties will also sign this month another general final peace agreement, which will then be submitted as a bill to parliament.DW
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