Maputo, 22 Jul (AIM) – The Irish Foreign and Defence Minister, Micheal Martin, on Friday announced the grant of a further million euros (about 1.1 million US dollars, at the current exchange rate) to support the reintegration into Mozambican society of former militiamen of the country’s main opposition party, Renamo.
This raises Ireland’s total contribution, from 2017 to the present, to five million euros. Reintegration is the final part of the DDR (Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration) programme agreed between the Mozambican government and Renamo.
Martin, who is on an official visit to Mozambique, visited an exhibition in Maputo organized by Mirko Manzoni, personal envoy to Mozambique of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, where he praised the progress made in building peace, including the recent conclusion, in June, of the phase of demobilising and disarming what is politely referred to as Renamo’s “residual force”.
“This is a significant mark in the advance towards sustainable peace in Mozambique”, said Martin in a press release.
He also met with Mozambican Foreign Minister Veronica Macamo. The purpose of this meeting, he said, was “to celebrate the robustness and perseverance of the excellent relations between Ireland and Mozambique”.
In announcing the new grant, Martin declared “the first heroes of any peace process are those who show the courage to change direction and trace out new paths”.
He congratulated both President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Ossufo Momade “for their commitment to the peace process and their courage in transforming the peace agreement into concrete results for Mozambicans”.
Martin compared the Mozambican peace process with the Good Friday agreement signed 25 years ago, which ended decades of violence in Northern Ireland. This was a “triumph of constitutional democracy on our island”.
Ireland remains committed to working with Mozambique, he said, financially, technically, and with key diplomatic staff, in supporting “initiatives for inclusive reconciliation, which have human rights and gender equality at their heart”.
On Wednesday, Martin had announced the grant of another million euros to the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane, for employment, health and water supply, and 3.5 million euros to strengthen educational systems and boost access to education.
In all, Ireland has granted aid of 27 million euros to Mozambique this year.