Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique to meet opposition Afonso Dhlakama for peace talks

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama are close to holding a face-to-face meeting and clear the way for resumption of peace negotiations that stalled last year, officials said on Friday.

According to Jose Manteigas, head of the main opposition delegation, both delegations have already agreed on most items with only a few contentious issues remaining.

“The points of agenda must first be debated within our own internal groups and then they will later be submitted at the highest level,” said Manteigas.

He said both delegations agree that the agenda should include the meeting at the highest level, the debate around Renamo governing the provinces where it claims it won the majority of votes in the 2014 elections and the armed attacks particularly in the central region of the country.

The composition of armed forces and the security as well as disarming of the Renamo armed men are other issues agreed.

Jacinto Veloso, head of government delegation, said he believed that after the meeting between Nyusi and Dhlakama, there will be clear indications to guide the groups during talks aimed at restoring peace in the country.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario and ruling party MPs urged the opposition to stop attacks against civilians in central and northern regions since peace talks had resumed.

In Renamo’s latest attacks, a train transporting coal extracted by the Brazilian mining company Vale in central Sofala province was attacked allegedly by Renamo armed men.

Police say recent attacks by the opposition party left one person dead and injured several others and destroyed public transport infrastructure.

The conflict between the ruling Frelimo party and the opposition Renamo started in 2013 after an attack on Dhlakama by pro-government forces in Gorongosa, Renamo’s former military base in central Sofala province.

This led Renamo to announce the end of its peace agreement with Frelimo signed in Rome in 1992.

Since 2013, tensions have risen and Renamo fighters have taken up arms in a battle against the Frelimo government.

 

– XINHUA

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