Dhlakama accused of violating ceasefire

The Mozambican government on Monday accused Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the former rebel movement Renamo, of violating the agreement on cessation of hostilities that he had signed with President Armando Guebuza on 5 September.

Afonso Dhlakama
Afonso Dhlakama

Speaking at the end of the 89th session of the dialogue between the government and Renamo, the head of the government delegation, Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco, declared that the rallies Dhlakama has been addressing in central and northern cities constitute incitement to violence and thus violated the terms of the agreement.

During these rallies, Dhlakama has repeatedly called for the formation of a “caretaker government” to run the country for the next five years – even though the results of the 15 October general elections have not yet been validated and proclaimed by the Constitutional Council, the country’s highest body in matters of constitutional and electoral law. He has threatened that, if the ruling Frelimo Party rejects his demands, he will form his own government and “make a revolution”.

“The agreement is being violated by the Renamo president in his travels to the various provinces in premeditated and repeated incitement to violence, at a time when the competent bodies are still analyzing the election dossiers”, said Pacheco. He accused Dhlakama of trying to usurp the powers of the electoral bodies and “spreading disinformation about the political, economic and social reality of our country”.

“We repudiate this behaviour”, he stressed, “and once again we call on the Renamo president to respect the Constitution of the Republic, and to respect the undertakings which he has signed”.

Pacheco also said that 20 members of the Renamo militia (referred to delicately as “residual forces”) who had come from the northernmost province of Niassa, were intercepted by the armed forces when they tried to march to the south.

He said that Renamo failed to notify the government that it was moving these men. “When a movement of forces is made, notification should be given”, he said. “When no notification is given, it’s a violation of the agreement’.

This round of the dialogue failed to break the impasse on disarming Renamo and integrating its “residual forces” into the FADM and the police. Once again Renamo refused to deliver the list of names of the people it wishes to see him the army and the police.

Pacheco said Renamo was still making integration of its forces dependent on a share-out of senior military and police positions. Renamo is demanding a division of the military leadership between itself and the government, which the government rejected as unthinkable weeks ago.

For his part, the head of the Renamo delegation, Saimone Macuiana, denied that Dhlakama had violated the agreement. “He is urging all Mozambicans to be calm”, he claimed – although anyone who watches televised coverage of Dhlakama’s rallies knows that he has threatened to set up a parallel government.

He said the 20 armed men mentioned by Pacheco had indeed left Niassa, but had been allowed to continue their journey and were now with Dhlakama in Vilanculo, in the southern province of Inhambane.

He also attacked the National Elections Commission (CNE) accusing it of “not presenting the results sheets” (from the elections). He thought the public prosecutor’s office should investigate “to understand how this body is unable to present the results sheets”.

In fact, the results sheets were fixed on the doors or walls of the polling stations immediately after the count on the night of 15 October. Copies were given to polling station monitors of the political parties, including Renamo. Other copies of the same results sheets were sent to the district and provincial elections commissions, for tabulating the results at those levels.

According to the CNE, the results sheets used to calculate the provincial results are now all stored in a Maputo warehouse, and the keys are in the possession of CNE members appointed by the three main political parties, Frelimo, Renamo and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM).

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Post published in: Africa News

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