Maputo, 8 Mar (AIM) – Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and the leader of the main opposition party, Renamo, Ossufo Momade, pledged in Maputo on Wednesday that they will complete the Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) of the remaining members of the Renamo militia.
The promise was made at a meeting between the two men in Nyusi’s office, during which they discussed the latest developments in the country, including whether it is viable to hold elections for district assemblies in 2024.
Speaking at a joint press conference shortly after the meeting, Nyusi guaranteed that everything will be done to conclude the DDR this month, although he recognized that important aspects remain to be discussed between the government and Renamo over the next four days.
“We had a good discussion and we think that everything will be done to ensure that this month the DDR process will be speeded up”, said Nyusi. “We made an approach now, but there are other steps which have to be taken within three or four days for a definitive decision”.
Momade said he had received guarantees from Nyusi that the government will create conditions for concluding the DDR, including the payment of pensions to the former Renamo guerrillas.
The last Renamo military base, in the central district of Gorongosa, should have been closed in December. But the issue of pensions proved a stumbling block.
Momade claimed the peace agreement he had signed with Nyusi in August 2019 envisaged the payment of pensions, but the government says it did not. Since the agreement had never been published, it is difficult to check who is right.
As for the district elections, Nyusi said he thought it would be possible to reach consensus “based on dialogue between Mozambicans”.
The constitutional amendments of 2019 include an article which imposes holding the first elections for district assemblies in 2024. But Nyusi has called repeatedly for this to be reconsidered, and on Wednesday, in the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, deputies from the ruling Frelimo Party insisted that the elections cannot be held in 2024.
“We are not afraid of the district elections”, said Nyusi. “Mozambicans will find the best solution through dialogue”.
Momade said Renamo is interested in concluding the DDR as quickly as possible. “We have already dismantled 15 bases”, he said, “and this is the proof that Renamo is interested. We hope that, with the guarantee we received today, we can conclude dismantling the final base”.
As for the district elections, he insisted that they should be held in 2024, since that date is in the Constitution, which should be respected.
“We were hoping that we could hold the district elections, since they are already in the Constitution”, said Momade. “I would not like to see the country change the law to delay the elections”.
He promised to discuss the matter with the rest of the Renamo leadership, and then transmit their opinion to Nyusi.