Mozambique’s president, Filipe Nyusi, on Thursday said that the Renamo dissident group accused of carrying out armed attacks in central Mozambique is not cooperating in the dialogue, warning that the state will no longer “pander” to murderers.
“We will no longer assist and pander murderers. We would not like to embark on the force, but if necessary, in defence of the people of this country, we will comply with the law: to defend Mozambique”, he said.
Filipe Nyusi was speaking during a meeting with members of the administration bodies of justice in the presidency, on the occasion of Legality Day, which is being celebrated on Thursday in Mozambique.
According to the president, although the government declared a unilateral seven-day truce, which ended on 31 October, the dissident group of the main opposition party in Mozambique carried out attacks between 26 October and 3 November, showing that it has no interest in dialogue for peace.
“As you can see, there is a total absence of collaboration for peace in Mozambique, accompanied by pronouncements that can encourage these acts. We will work with the commands of the Defence and Security Forces to better understand and define guidelines,” he said.
Speaking to Lusa, the leader of the self-proclaimed military junta, Mariano Nhongo, said that the government was not sincere in announcing a unilateral seven-day truce, which led to a new failure to approach his group.
“That Frelimo (Mozambique Liberation Front, ruling party) is not being sincere in the truce, no,” he said, saying that it was only a strategy to capture the president of the military junta, he said.
The former military strategist of Afonso Dhlakama, former president of the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), assured that in the last week he had maintained long telephone contact with the special envoy of the United Nations secretary-general, Mirko Manzoni, to whom he denounced new incidents with members of his group.
“I lost confidence in Manzoni,” Nhongo said, calling for balanced mediation and not for a diplomat who is leaning to one side.
Nhongo insisted that the government and the mediators should follow the roadmap left by Afonso Dhlakama and “tear up” the agreement signed between Filipe Nyusi and Ossufo Momade in August 2019.
The group is the main suspect in the attacks that have already caused about 30 deaths in the centre of the country since August 2019.
Nhongo and his men oppose the current leadership of Renamo, presided over by Ossufo Momade, and demand better reintegration conditions than those defined in the Peace and National Reconciliation Agreement, signed in 2019.
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