From Arimando Domingos in Maputo
THE successful political dialogue between the
government and Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo), culminating in
the signing of an agreement on cessation of military hostilities, is a
major development in the quest for “African solutions for African
Lauded globally, it is a major reinforcement to the continent’s flagship
project of “Silencing the Guns” and a major boost to the “Africa We
Want” aspirations of the continental bloc.
Signed by President Filipe Nyusi of the Mozambique Liberation Front
(Frelimo)-led government and Renamo leader, Ossufo Momade, this
breakthrough is anticipated to enable the Southern African country to
realise its full potential following years of tensions.
This week, leaders from across the continent converged in the capital
Maputo for the landmark Peace and Reconciliation Agreement ceremony.
An air of optimism permeated Mozambique, an unprecedented development in
a country which despite the end of a decades-long civil war 27 years
ago, has been characterised by intermittent conflict.
Mozambique is still reeling from devastating effects of cyclones, most
tragically Idai that left more than 600 people dead with more than
500,000 others displaced.
“This (peace agreement) is another sign that Africans can find solutions
to their problems,” said Claude Nikobisanzwe, Ambassador of Rwanda to
Moussa Faki, head of the African Union Commission (AUC), saluted
Mozambicans and the leadership of Nyusi and Momade, describing the
landmark deal as a great step towards national reconciliation and unity.
“As you all know, peace, security and sustainable development are our
top priorities in the continent to achieve the Africa We Want. Therefore
I welcome the signing of this peace agreement,” Faki said.
Faki urged the international community and the private sector to make
the most of the atmosphere of peace and reconciliation, to invest in the
ongoing Mozambique reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.
The Mozambique peace deal has buoyed the mood in the AU ahead of the
upcoming signing of a political agreement in Sudan.
It is scheduled for August 17.
María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the UN
General Assembly, also welcomed the historic peace deal.
“This agreement brings hope for lasting peace and development to
Mozambique,” she said.
The peace deal paves way for the holding of peaceful elections in the
nation with an estimated population of over 30 million people.
Polls are set for October 15 and are again projected to be a two-horse
race between Frelimo and Renamo.
João Lourenço, the President of Angola, said the agreement gave back
lasting peace to Mozambicans and would be beneficial to the SADC regional bloc and the continent.
Mozambique is endowed with vast resources, particularly gas fields
discovered in 2011.
“The huge potential of Mozambique could serve the interest of the people
of this country and the Southern Africa region,” Lourenco said.
Mozambique plays a key role in the region’s economy.
Its main ports provide access to international markets for countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Mozambique breakthrough is undoubtedly the biggest development as
SADC prepares for the 39th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and
Government to be held in Tanzania on August 17-18.
- CAJ News