Mozambique opposition leader promises to sign peace deal by November

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Mozambican opposition Renamo leader, Afonso Dhlakama, said he would sign a peace deal with the government by early November, in a bid to end almost three years of sporadic violence.

Renamo and the ruling Frelimo party fought on opposing sides of a civil war from 1976 to 1992 in which a million people died before a peace accord ended the fighting.

Violence has flared up again since Renamo challenged results of the southern African nation’s 2014 elections.

“It will be in October or November, no later than the beginning of November,” Dhlakama told the weekly independent newspaper, Canal de Moz and quoted by Noticas, the pro-government daily paper on Thursday.

Dhlakama said his party was negotiating cautiously with the government to avoid a deadlock, which has seen previous talks collapse.

Issues still being discussed include plans to decentralise powers, constitutional reforms to allow provincial governors to be elected and reintegrating Renamo’s staff into the police and army.

Renamo wants governors to be elected in 2019, seeing it as a chance to rule areas where it has popular backing.

Nyusi and Dhlakama met in early August for the first time since 2015 to discuss the next steps in the peace process, which they hoped will be completed by the end of the year.