Once again Pacheco and the other members of the government team took their places in Maputo’s Joaquim Chissano Conference Centre and waited for the Renamo delegation to appear. And once again Renamo boycotted the talks – even though it was Renamo that had requested the talks in the first place.
The Renamo boycott came as no surprise. Renamo has been demanding the presence at the dialogue table of national and foreign mediators and observers, and threatened that it would not take part in any more meetings unless these observers were present. Last week the government said that, while it was prepared to admit Mozambican observers to the talks, it had no intention of extending that invitation to foreign organisations.
“We were here for a further round of dialogue, taking into account the exchange of regular correspondence through the appropriate channels, but Renamo has not appeared”, Pacheco said. The reasons for Renamo’s absence had not been communicated officially to the government.
As for Renamo’s demand that third parties should be invited, Pacheco said the government is willing to discuss with Renamo the mechanisms leading to the participation of the Mozambican observers whom Renamo wants.
“The government and Renamo should review what could be the role of national observers in the dialogue”, he said.
Despite Renamo’s repeated boycotts, the government says that it remains open to continuing the dialogue.
Meetings between the two delegations have taken place since May, with an agenda provided by Renamo. But 24 rounds later the two sides have not advanced beyond the first point on the agenda, which is Renamo’s demand for sweeping changes in the electoral legislation.Post published in: Africa News