Mozambique leader says will ink peace deal with Renamo

Mozambique's president Filipe Nyusi. File photo.
Mozambique's president Filipe Nyusi. File photo.

Mozambique's president Filipe Nyusi has said he will sign a peace deal on Thursday with Renamo leader Ossufo Momade that will definitively end military hostilities with the former rebel movement-turned-opposition party.

Nyusi made the announcement during an address to parliament on Wednesday, adding that the signing will take place at Renamo's remote military base in the Gorongosa mountains in the central region of the southern African country.

"...Tomorrow I will sign a definitive peace agreement with the Renamo President Ossufo Momade in the Gorongosa Mountain," he said.

In the mid-1970s, Renamo fought a brutal 16-year civil war against the Frelimo government that left one million people dead before the fighting stopped in 1992.

Despite the end of the civil war and the group transforming into a political party, it retained an armed wing.

Fresh clashes then erupted again between government forces and Renamo soldiers from 2013 to 2016.

On Tuesday Renamo began disarming its armed members as part of a prospective peace deal that will see the fighters reintegrated into the country's army and police.

More than 5,200 Renamo fighters are to expected to surrender their weapons to the government, a condition for the peace deal that is planned to be signed on August 1.

That would bring an end to a long peace negotiation process initiated by Renamo's historic leader, Afonso Dhlakama, who died in May last year.

The announcement of the signing of the peace deal comes just two-and-half months before general elections scheduled for October 15 in the former Portuguese colony in southeastern Africa.

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