Weekend Post (South Africa)

Truce brings hope in Mozambique

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MOZAMBICAN opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama yesterday extended a truce between his rebel Renamo group and the government and said peace talks would resume next week.

The move prolongs a truce that Renamo fighters announced unilateral­ly the day before Christmas last year.

“We will extend the truce by 60 days to allow us to not only work on the negotiatin­g process, but also to ensure there will be no more deaths,” Dhlakama said.

Dhlakama, whose Renamo party is the main opposition in Mozambique, retreated in October 2015 to his hideout in the central Gorongosa mountain range with 800 former guerrillas, demanding a greater share of power.

In 2013, tensions resurfaced, with Renamo fighters again taking up arms against the ruling Frelimo party. On the eve of the October 2014 general elections, Renamo and the government signed a ceasefire.

But Renamo refused to accept the results of the poll when it was beaten once more at the ballot box by Frelimo.

Yesterday’s truce extension is seen to confirm that Mozambique’s political crisis is finally abating. – AFP

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