Africa-Press – Mozambique. The UN secretary general’s personal envoy to Mozambique on Monday called the death of dissident guerrilla leader Mariano Nhongo “regrettable”, but acknowledged that multiple attempts at dialogue were “unfruitful”.
“Although this is a regrettable end to the situation, we acknowledge the Government’s strong efforts to make use of peaceful means to return stability to central Mozambique,” reads a statement signed by Mirko Manzoni.
According to the official, “there were repeated opportunities given to use dialogue instead of violence, however, they proved unsuccessful”.
“For more than two years we have sought to engage with Nhongo, and have actively encouraged him to return to the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process,” stemming from the 2019 peace agreement between the Government of the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo ) and the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), Manzoni notes in the communique.
But Renamo’s self-proclaimed Junta Militar asserted itself as a group of guerrillas unhappy with new party leader Ossufo Momade, successor to Afonso Dhlakama, and dissatisfied with the terms of the DDR process which issued from the peace agreement.
There was never any dialogue or alignment with the demobilization process.
“Following the solid progress made to date in this [DDR] process and the recent defection of the main members of the Junta, we hoped that the situation would be resolved in a peaceful manner,” Guterres’ envoy writes.
Mirko Manzoni ends by reiterating his “commitment” to efforts aimed at a definitive settlement.
“This event will not deter us in our pursuit of peace. It must serve to bring us together to refocus our efforts to allow any remaining combatants to join the DDR process and join a life of peace,” he concludes.
Statement from the UNSG Personal Envoy to Mozambique regarding the death of Mariano Nhongo
Declaração do Enviado Pessoal do UNSG a Moçambique a respeito da morte de Mariano Nhongo pic.twitter.com/ryKbc1n6Fw
— Caroline Delany (@CDinOT) October 11, 2021
The Mozambican defence and security forces shot and killed Mariano Nhongo on Monday morning in a forest in Cheringoma district, Sofala province, in the centre of the country, during an exchange of fire with a Mozambican police patrol, General Commander of the Police, Bernardino Rafael, told journalists in Maputo.
Armed attacks in central Mozambique carried out by the self-proclaimed Renamo Junta Militar have claimed the lives of an estimated 30 people since August 2019.