Joe Hanlon 251: Talks deadlocked

15 April 2014
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Editor: Joseph Hanlon ( j.hanlon@open.ac.uk)
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Talks deadlocked again as Renamo demands „parity“ of police and army commanders

The 53rd round of talks Monday ended in deadlock, after Renamo said it would disarm only if all senior levels of the military and police had equal numbers of Frelimo and Renamo officers. The head of the Renamo negotiating team, Saimone Macuiane MP, said that the senior leadership of the army are all from the old People’s Liberation Army (Forcas Populares de Libertacao de Mocambique, FLPM) of more than 20 years ago, which was the army that fought Renamo, and that it was time to have equal number of Renamo officers. Renamo officers integrated into the army after the peace accord were turned in „advisors“, retired, or marginalised, leaving only the old FPLM in charge. And this must be reversed. „We don’t want our soldiers to just be cooks and ‚advisors‘ to Frelimo; we want them to be real military men in the army,“ Macuiane added.

Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco, the head of the government negotiating team, dismissed the demand as an „aberration.“  (AIM 14 April) Noticias this morning (15 April) reports that Renamo demands that the head of the general staff (Chefe do Estado-Maior) of the army and commander of the police be named by Renamo, and only their deputies named by the government.

Although the two sides have agreed that there should be international monitors, there is no agreement on their role. The government says they should monitor the cease fire and the disarmament and demobilisation of Renamo fighters. Renamo wants them to monitor the entire reorganisation of the military and police.

The next round of talks is tomorrow, Wednesday. Meanwhile, Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama must register to vote in the next two weeks if he expects to stand for President.

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