Renamo breaks ceasefire, 100s flee to Malawi

28 Jul, 2015 - 00:07 0 Views
Renamo breaks ceasefire, 100s flee to Malawi

The Chronicle

renamoMAPUTO — The Mozambican government yesterday accused the main opposition Renamo of violating a ceasefire deal signed last September by clashing with the army in the northwestern province of Tete.

Agriculture Minister and head of the government delegation to the talks with Renamo, Jose Pacheco, made the statement before the start of a new round of talks between the two sides.

He said the clashes took place on Friday but didn’t reveal whether there were casualties involved.

“There is no need of clashes in a country in peace”, Pacheco told reporters.

“We condemn such actions. Since first hours after the signing of the accord to cease hostilities, there were violations of the accord,” he said.

Head of the Renamo delegation, Saimone Macuiana, didn’t deny the clashes.

The opposition representative demanded the setting up of a commission involving the government, Renamo and local mediators to tackle the conflict in Tete.

A peace agreement was signed last September in Maputo by former President Armando Guebuza and Renamo leader, Afonso Dhlakama, following talks between the two sides.

Dhlakama on Saturday alleged that 53 government soldiers had been killed in the ongoing fighting in the northwestern part since June, quoted by a private television station.

However, the opposition leader said his forces “were only responding to attacks by the government forces.”

The clashes in Tete have forced some 700 Mozambicans to flee to neighbouring Malawi, who were reported to lack food and drinking water there.

Talks between the government and Renamo have reached a deadlock as the opposition party refused to hand over a list of its armed men planned to be disarmed and integrated into the government troops and police.

Renamo, a former rebel movement, is demanding the sharing of top posts in the army and police with the government, and the rule in six northern and central provinces that it claims to have won in the 2014 elections.

The Mozambican government, run by the ruling Frelimo party, and Renamo fought a bloody civil war from 1977 to 1992. After more than 20 years of peace, fighting broke out between the government and Renamo las year in northern Mozambique. A peace accord was signed in September last year. — Xinhua/AP.

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