'Let's con­tinue with rec­on­cil­i­a­tion ef­forts'

Observer on Saturday - - News - Reuters AP

- Afonso Dh­lakama, the Mozam­bi­can op­po­si­tion leader who led a rebel group dur­ing the dev­as­tat­ing civil war that ended in 1992, died on Thurs­day at the age of 65.

Mozam­bi­can ra­dio re­ported that Dh­lakama died in the Goron­gosa area of cen­tral So­fala prov­ince, where he was based amid spo­radic vi­o­lence in­volv­ing the Re­n­amo op­po­si­tion group and se­cu­rity forces backed by the rul­ing Fre­limo party in re­cent years. How­ever, ten­sions eased in the south­ern

MA­PUTO

African coun­try in 2017 as Dh­lakama met Pres­i­dent Filipe Nyusi in Goron­gosa to dis­cuss dif­fer­ences be­tween the two sides.

Dh­lakama was ill prior to his death, the Por­tuguese news agency Lusa re­ported.

The agency cited an un­named of­fi­cial in Re­n­amo, whose Por­tuguese acro­nym means Mozam­bi­can Na­tional Re­sis­tance.

Even though Re­n­amo and Fre­limo (Mozam­bique Lib­er­a­tion Front) de­clared peace af­ter the civil war that killed up to 1 mil­lion peo­ple, Dh­lakama's group did not fully dis­arm. In­ter­mit­tent in­sta­bil­ity be­tween 2013 and 2016 hurt tourism and other eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity at a time when Mozam­bique, which has big re­serves of coal and other en­ergy sources, was strug­gling with heavy debt, a weak cur­rency and a global fall in com­mod­ity prices. Un­der Dh­lakama, Re­n­amo, which was re­peat­edly de­feated in elec­tions and al­leged fraud, de­manded a big­ger role in the gov­ern­ment and econ­omy, as well as more au­ton­omy in ar­eas it dom­i­nates.

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