Mozambican President to resume talks with opposition leader

Mozambican President Felipe Nyusi has expressed optimism that he will soon meet the leader of the country main opposition, a former rebel movement whose members had sporadic clashes with the government forces in recent years despite a two-decade-old truce, state media reported Sunday.

This came after the opposition Renamo party this week agreed to the government’s invitation to resume dialogue after it stalled in August 2015. Renamo’s leader Afonso Dhlakama, who has been in hiding in central Mozambique for years, appointed three members to the national parliament as its negotiators.

Nyusi described the move as a development that “the Mozambican people have been waiting for” and said he was optimistic that his long-awaited meeting with Dhlakama “will happen and will be productive,” according to the state-run AIM news agency.

The report said the meeting of the two leaders is expected to come up with binding decisions constructive to peace and stability.

Renamo was in war with the Frelimo ruling party for 16 years until a peace accord was signed in 1992 when the rebel movement was transformed into a political party.

But the hard-earned peace was again under threat a few years ago as Renamo leader Dhlakama and his royal followers took up arms and went into hiding in remote central Sofala province. Attacks to military bases, roads, and facilities occurred, prompting government forces to scale up its presence in the region.

The two sides began peace talks in early 2013 but did not yield substantial results before the talks stalled in August 2015.

Nyusi said this time the two sides shouldn’t waste time that the talks must set rules and targets, and those who do not abide by them should be held responsible.