Nyusi calls for patience and support for peace talks

Namanhumbir (Mozambique) (AIM) – Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Saturday urged Mozambicans to show patience and to support the efforts currently under way to secure effective peace.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi

Speaking at a rally in the Namanhumbir administrative post, in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, Nyusi said that trust must be restored among Mozambicans to ensure successful peace talks.

“So let’s cherish this process”, he urged. “We are saying ‘Mozambicans, let’s work so that the peace project is lasting and we all have to be part of this’”

Wherever he went, the President said, “the people call out for peace”, which was why he had taken the initiative to maintain regular contacts with the leader of the Renamo rebels, Afonso Dhlakama.

“Only by talking, by dialogue, can the problem be solved”, he claimed. “As I always said, we Mozambicans have to talk. So I took the initiative, humbly, to speak with the leader of Renamo. I said we had to talk, and he agreed to talk, and we have been talking”.

Although Dhlakama is still living in a Renamo military base in the central district of Gorongosa, he has been able to keep in regular contact with Nyusi by telephone. These phone calls resulted in a truce declared by Dhlakama, which took effect on 27 December. Last week, Dhlakama extended the truce for an indefinite period.

Nyusi explained that the government and Renamo have set up two working groups. “The first team is discussing decentralization”, he said. “That means how we should live, how we should govern, who should be here, who should be there, and thinking about new rules for the next games, which are the elections. We are not discussing the governance of five or six provinces”.

The second group was dealing with military matters, and was discussing disarming the Renamo militia “because nobody, except the army of the State, should have guns”, Nyusi continued.

“The group is discussing what to do with those people with guns, after they have handed over their guns”, he said. “Meanwhile, we say – nobody should shoot against anyone else. And that is what is happening”.

Nyusi attacked those who have criticized his dialogue with Dhlakama. In an obvious reference to the opposition Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), he rejected claims that the talks are not “inclusive” because the MDM and other groups are not taking part.

Nyusi pointed out that the talks were with Renamo, because it was Renamo that had waged war. “It was Renamo that was engaged in hostilities”, he said. “I don’t know what I would say about peace with any other party”.

But Nyusi pledged that, as soon as the peace talks were over, he would be available to speak with other parties about questions concerning the development of the country”.

He was scathing about those who criticised the peace talks, but had no alternative. “There are some people who say ‘but what are they talking about? This isn’t going to work. We don’t know about this. It won’t work’. But if you are so sure that it won’t work, can you tell me what must be done so that it does work? Don’t just complain and discourage the efforts of Mozambicans – that’s a crime! That’s inciting violence for us to kill each other”.

“We don’t want these Mozambicans who only talk, talk and do nothing”, he declared. “They want confusion, for us to live by killing each other. We don’t want this. All initiatives should be encouraged”.

“Nobody is discussing in order to govern alone”, Nyusi continued. “We are only discussing in order to develop Mozambique. That’s the main goal. We don’t want to be a country of idiots, we want to be a country of people who work and live in harmony. We cannot hold up our country because of petty things”.

Nyusi was careful not to say precisely who these harsh words were aimed at.

Post published in: Africa News

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