Renamo Insists On Linking Pensions to DDR
Maputo, 24 Dec (AIM) – Mozambique’s main opposition party, Renamo, has insisted that it is the failure to pay pensions to demobilized guerrillas which is holding up the conclusion of the Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) of the Renamo militia.
The final Renamo military base, at Vanduzi, in Gorongosa district, in the central province of Sofala, should have closed on Monday. But Renamo leader Ossufo Momade did not show up for the ceremony and nor did the 350 Renamo guerrillas who were supposed to be demobilized.
On Thursday night, interviewed by the independent television station STV, the former Renamo General Secretary, Andre Magibire, insisted that pensions are the stumbling block. Three days earlier, however, President Filipe Nyusi insisted that pensions were not the issue, since the peace agreement he had signed with Momade in August 2019 did not mention pensions.
So who is telling the truth? Are there clauses in the peace agreement that concern pensions, or not? It is impossible to know, because that agreement has never been published.
Magibire told STV “of the more than 4,000 fighters already demobilized, none have received pensions. There will be no peace for as long as the demobilized fighters have no money to buy medicines, to send their children to school, much less to rent a house. How are we going to advance with the demobilization of the last base?”
“If tomorrow, or next week, the conditions are created, those fighters will be demobilized”, Magibire promised.
He also attacked Mirko Manzoni, the personal envoy to Mozambique of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, for his claims that not all the Renamo weapons are being handed over. “Is Mirko Manzoni responsible for the Renamo guns so that he knows how many existed, and how many have already left?”, Majibire asked.
“It’s not Manzoni who was controlling the Renamo guns”, he continued. “We are being honest. We are handing over all the guns. We don’t need to hide anything. If Mirko Manzoni doesn’t trust us, I offer to accompany him and show him where the other guns are. He should know better”.
Majibire also blamed Manzoni for the Monday fiasco. He claimed Manzoni had fixed Monday as the date for closing the final base without the knowledge of Renamo.
To explain the current stage of the DDR to the remaining Renamo guerillas, Momade had gone to Sofala. Majibiri’s successor as General Secretary, Clementina Bomba, has categorically denied reports that dissident guerrillas have seized Momade and are holding him hostage.
“This story is false because the president of our party, since his arrival in Sofala, enjoys the protection and loyalty of the generals and of all the fighters there”, said Bomba. “We want to make it clear that there has never been any rebellion in Gorongosa since Ossufo Momade became leader of the party”.