Renamo allowed to keep an army until after elections plus new attack in Tete
Demobilisation will be spread over 135 days and this can be extended, Renamo and the government agreed at talks on Friday. With no agreement yet on demobilisation, this ensures that Renamo will still have an armed military force after the 15 October presidential and parliamentary elections.
But as talks continue, the small war also continues. There was a Renamo attack on a police car in Tete on 2 April. (see below)
Renamo had wanted 180 days with possible extension, while government had pushed for a single 90 day period. It was agreed that observers would be asked to be in Mozambique 10 days after discussions end, but there is no date for that. The observer team will have 70 national and 23 international observers from Botswana (chair), Zimbabwe, South Africa, Cape Verde, Kenya, Italy, Portugal, Britain and the United States.
The head of the Renamo delegation, Saimone Macuiana, told reporters that „no agreement has been reached about the function and tasks of the observers. In our understanding, the observers, in addition to supervising and observing the ceasefire, also have the task of verifying and accompanying the implementation of the decisions we may take on the dialogue agenda point concerning the defence and security forces”. He made it clear that Renamo has no intention of starting to disarm. “Now we are solving the question concerning the ceasefire, and not disarmament”, he said. “We are dealing with a prior question to do with a ceasefire, and this does not annul point two on the agenda, which is on defence and security”. (AIM 5 April)
Other small war news
A group of Renamo guerrillas has been active in Tsangano, Tete since late March, particularly in the area of Moniqujeira, according to district administrator Ana Beressone. They have burned houses and stolen property, she said. On 2 April they attacked a police vehicle. One attacker was killed and two police people injured. (Noticias 5 April) Unay Cambuma on his Facebook page, reprinted by Macua.blogs, claims there was a military confrontations between Renamo guerrillas and the army on Friday 4 April. Both reports are unconfirmed by other sources. Tsangano is a district on the Malawi border south of Angonia and north of Moatize districts. There have been reports since the start of the year about an armed Renamo group near Nkondedzi, Moatize district and Noticias reported that 2000 people had fled over the border to Malawi. (Noticias 26 February; News Reports & Clippings 239, 240)
Human Right League Head Alice Mabota says armed guerrillas represent her and have a right to armed action. Speaking on Thursday 3 April and quoted by @Verdade, she said the armed confrontation is the result of intransigence by the government. „Those who are in the bush … represent the anxiety of all persons who are not at war. They represent ‚my‘ interest, I would like to be included, I would like to pursue my political freely and am forbidden.“ Mabota is president of the Liga Mocambicana dos Direitos Humanos (LDH), and she continued: „There is political and economic exclusion in this country. Excluded people are not cattle or chickens; they know what they have to do.“ http://www.verdade.co.mz/destaques/democracia/45297
Renamo denies that it was responsible for the attack on the Vale coal train last week. And there is no confirmation of the CanalMoz claim of an attack on a second CFM train.
Four more civil society people have been named to the CNE, the National Elections Commission. The civil society representatives are chosen by parliament, and the choice was therefor political – one Frelimo, one MDM, and two Renamo. The new members are:
Jeremias Timana, general secretary of the National Confederation of Free and Independent Unions (CONSILMO), who sat on the CNE which organized the 2008 municipal and 2009 general elections. Supported by Frelimo.
Jose Belmiro, a prominent journalist working for the independent television station, STV, supported by the MDM.
Apolinario Joao, proposed by the Youth Association for Community and Development (a previously unknown NGO), supported by Renamo.
Salomao Moyana, one of the country’s best known journalists and is now director of Magazine Independent, supported by Renamo.
All MPs voted for Timana, but around 70 did not vote for the others. AIM says „These were clearly ballots cast by Frelimo deputies who could not stomach the thought of voting for people effectively nominated by Renamo. This was a silent revolt against the string of concessions which Frelimo and the government have been making to Renamo since the beginning of the year.“ (AIM 4 April)
Will Afonso Dhlakama register to vote by the end of the month? He must do so in order to stand for election as Renamo candidate for President. He has not appeared in public since the attack on Satunjira on 21 October last year.