Just hours after receiving the invitation Renamo rejected the “cynical” invitation outright.Speaking to AFP in the capital Maputo, Renamo spokesman Fernando Mazanga branded it “a political propaganda campaign without minimal respect for ethics.” Supporters of Dhlakama – a rebel leader in Mozambique’s brutal civil war have been involved in a series of deadly attacks and are demanding a share of the country’s resource wealth.
Zimbabwe will be justified to enter Mozambique conflict to protect national interests? The new oil and gas pipeline will supply from Beira-Harare direct.
Amid nearly a year of simmering tensions and sporadic attacks on police and civilians, the Mozambique army raided Dhlakama’s bush camp on October 21.
The factions signed a peace deal in 1992 and Renamo subsequently became the main opposition party, but has since seen its support erode. Guebuza said he wanted to hold talks “out of respect for the strong wishes of the Mozambican people,” his office said in a statement reported by the state news agency.
Thousands of people marched across the country last Thursday to protest a range of issues, including the prospects of a new war.Renamo accused the government of planning fresh assaults in the movement’s strongholds in central Mozambique. It also said Zimbabwe and Brazil had offered to send troops to fight on Frelimo’s side.
A face-to-face meeting between the two leaders is seen as the only way of ending the impasse after months of dialogue between Renamo and the government failed to yield results. Gunmen, reportedly from Renamo, have attacked civilian vehicles almost daily on the main north-south highway in central Mozambique since the fall of Dhlakama’s bush camp.
Last week Guebuza told AFP in an exclusive interview “the solution is dialogue. It is not a military solution,” a day after government forces attacked another Renamo camp. Both sides have said they want peace, although the tit-for-tat clashes continue.
Asked whether Renamo was preparing to act against the alleged assault by government forces, Mazanga replied “defence is an animal instinct. Any animal’s first reaction is to defend itself and survive.”
Renamo has in the past called for Guebuza to travel to the central Sofala province for talks, where Dhlakama has strong support. It says the leader would be in danger of attacks if he travelled.
In a statement they “urged Renamo to stop acts of violence forthwith.”Renamo earlier threatened to disrupt local elections slated for November 20 unless the government gives in to its demands. Campaigning officially started Tuesday, but the movement has refused to register.
- Mozambique president offers talks with rebel leader (modernghana.com)
- Mozambique rebel movement rejects peace talks offer (modernghana.com)
- Mozambique’s Renamo Says Army Plans to Kill Dhlakama – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Mozambique rebel movement rejects peace talks (africareview.com)
- Mozambique plans for vote despite boycott threat (bigstory.ap.org)
- VP Mujuru decries Renamo banditry (herald.co.zw)
- Mozambique army seizes Renamo base (bbc.co.uk)
- Mozambique Faces Uncertainty as Renamo Ends Peace Pact (atlantablackstar.com)
- Mozambique leader calls for talks to end violence (modernghana.com)