The meeting between Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama last Sunday was praised by former President Armando Guebuza, as well as by the European Union (EU), the U.S. government and academic groups in Mozambique.
“All of us have been working to and want to see peace in Mozambique. This meeting means that key steps were taken for an effective peace in our country. We encourage this initiative and hope that soon we will be living in peace,” said Guebuza on Wednesday in Maputo.
It was a surprising step taken by the president and the main opposition leader, and a demonstration of goodwill from both sides to carve out a happy ending and to open a new chapter in Mozambique’s development.
The two leaders met on the ground of the main opposition, Renamo, in Gorongosa, Sofala Province, where the Renamo leader took refuge after alleged attempts from the armed forces to end his life.
After the discussion, the leaders reached an agreement on the coming steps of the country’s peace process that should be concluded by the end of this year, according to a statement from the president.
They intend to work closely with the commissions created by the government together with Renamo delegations, and another meeting will be held to prepare the final details for the conclusion of the process.
Salutations and praise for both leaders came in soon after the meeting. The EU said the meeting is important for both sides to build mutual trust and congratulated them on the initiative.
Through its embassy in Maputo, the U.S. government also commended this meeting for representing a significant move on both leaders’ parts for a long-lasting peace in the country.
“This meeting represents another significant step in their joint efforts to achieve a lasting peace that will benefit the security and prosperity of the people of the Republic of Mozambique,” said the U.S. press release.
Academic groups in Mozambican society also expressed their appreciation of the meeting, and addressed the responsibilities of each part involved in the negotiation aimed at reaching an agreement that will put an end to the reconciliation efforts that have been dragging on since 1992.
“We must rejoice, we must be trustful and bear in mind that the level of trust increased between the two, but need to be on guard to make sure nothing spoils this situation,” said Lourenco do Rosario, an academic and former member of the observatory mission during the peace talks in Maputo.
Since the declaration of this indefinite truce, Mozambique has witnessed no more attacks along the roads, particularly in its central and northern regions.