Africa-Press – Mozambique. Mozambique’s main opposition party, Renamo, has urged the remaining members of the self-styled Renamo Military Junta to join the Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) of the Renamo militia, so as to pave the way for lasting peace and social stability.
A press release issued by Renamo, following the death in combat on 11 October of the Military Junta’s leader, Mariano Nhongo, claims that his demise has shocked “any Mozambican citizen”, as it is not the suitable and acceptable way to settle internal issues.
Renamo, the release says, advocates the use of dialogue as the right path to avoid deaths similar to Nhongo’s and urged the Defence and Security forces to resort to more peaceful strategies to restore law and order, especially in the central province of Sofala.
On 4 October, as the country marked the 29th anniversary of the General Peace Accords (AGP), signed in 1992 in Rome, Italy, which marked the end of Renamo’s war of destabilization, President Filipe Nyusi instructed the Defence and Security forces to capture Nhongo and bring him to justice.
Nhongo headed a breakaway faction of Renamo, which did not accept the election of Ossufo Momade as President of Renamo, at a Congress held in January 2019. He described Momade as “a traitor”, and rejected the peace agreement signed between Momade and Nyusi in August 2019.
Nhongo’s men staged ambushes against vehicles on the main roads of Sofala and Manica provinces in late 2019 and throughout 2020. Around 30 people died in these murderous attacks.
But Nhongo’s followers, including some of his key aides, gradually drifted away and accepted the government’s offer of demobilization. Only a couple of attacks were attributed to the Junta in 2021.
Nhongo’s body and those of a second Junta member killed alongside him are currently lying in a health centre in the Sofala district of Dondo. The police say they are looking for Nhongo’s relatives in Chemba district, in Zambezi valley, so that they can deliver the body for burial.
The police have also urged civil society to remain calm and watchful against any attempt to disturb public order.