Joint commission meets, but no public statements

Maputo (AIM) – The Joint Commission between the Mozambican government and the Renamo rebels met again in Maputo on Thursday, but neither side made any statement to the press.

renamo34At the previous meeting, on Wednesday morning, a consensual statement on decentralization was read out, which gave the impression that provincial governors drawn from Renamo could be appointed in the near future. However, later on Wednesday, the head of the government delegation, former security minister Jacinto Veloso, declared that the appointment of governors could not be taken in isolation from the other matters on the agenda of the Joint Commission, which include a cessation of hostilities and the disarming of Renamo.

Despite meeting for three hours on Thursday, the commission seemed to make little progress. The coordinator of the team of foreign mediators, Mario Raffaelli, told reporters “Today the meeting was inconclusive, and so we shall meet again tomorrow (Friday)”.

According to a report in Friday’s issue of the independent newssheet “Mediafax”, Renamo presented a “prior point” at the start of the meeting, protesting at the press conference given by Veloso on Wednesday evening, claiming that it was a breach of the Joint Commission’s protocol.

Renamo claimed that the Wednesday morning statement had been clear and represented an understanding between the two sides, and there was thus no reason for the government to react to “wrong interpretations” in some of the media. Any clarification, Renamo argued, should have been given jointly and not just by Veloso.

At his press conference Veloso had warned against any belief that the appointment of provincial governors from Renamo was imminent. “If anyone says that the government has already agreed to appoint governors from Renamo for six provinces, this conclusion is absolutely wrong”, he stressed.

“Mediafax” says it also learnt that on Thursday, from 09.00 until about 13.00, the sub-commission charged with drawing up draft legislation on decentralization, to be submitted to the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, held its first meeting.

In the afternoon, between 15.00 and 19.00, the entire Joint Commission met, and the main items under discussion were a cessation of hostilities, and the proposed visit by the mediators to the central district of Gorongosa, to meet with Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama at his bush headquarters. It is expected that discussion on these matters will continue on Friday.

On Thursday, the National Defence and Security Council (CNDS), an advisory body to the head of state, also met, and called for an immediate end to all military activities. It condemned the loss of human life, and said there was no justification for the murder of defenceless people.

The CNDS encouraged President Filipe Nyusi to continue his effort to obtain effective peace, maintaining total openness to dialogue. It praised the progress made so far by the Joint Commission, and urged all of Mozambican society to place the country above any other interests, and to united to secure the normalization of the lives of all Mozambicans.

Post published in: Africa News

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