AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - Historic peace accord signed in view of Pope Francis' visit

Wednesday, 7 August 2019 peace   pope francis  

Maputo (Agenzia Fides) - President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo Ossufo Momade leader signed a historic peace accord yesterday, 6 August. The signing ceremony took place in Peace Square in Maputo, which was attended by several African leaders, including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Rwanda Paul Kagame.
The document signed yesterday follows the accord signed on August 1st by the two Mozambican leaders, which establishes the terms of the ceasefire between the parties.
"We want to assure our people and the world that we have buried the mindset of using violence as a way of resolving our differences", said Momade after the signing ceremony on 1 August.
"This agreement opens a new era in the history of our Country in which no Mozambican should use weapons to resolve conflicts", said President Nyusi.
The ceasefire comes weeks before Pope Francis’ planned September 5 visit to the country, guided by the theme "Hope, Peace and Reconciliation".
The Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo), a former Marxist guerrilla, in power for 40 years, and Renamo (Mozambican National Resistance), were the protagonists of a bloody civil war (1977-1992) which caused about a million dead. Thanks to the Rome agreements, Renamo became the main opposition party.
In 2014, Renamo had rejected the election results by taking up arms again. In December 2016, a temporary truce was reached which had frozen the armed conflict.
The 2016 truce, signed by the then leader of Renamo, Afonso Dhlakama and President-elect Nyusi, contained the government's acceptance of revising the Constitution to accelerate the process of decentralization of the government, as well as the beginning of a process of demilitarization of Renamo.
This was followed by a memorandum of understanding, signed in August 2018, which established the road map to follow for the disarming of Renamo, which began last week. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 7/8/2019)