MAPUTO. — President Filipe Nyusi has defended the country’s unity in the fight against the armed groups carrying out attacks in Cabo Delgado province in the north of the country, reiterating his commitment to the consolidation of peace and democracy.
“We call on our brothers (of the Mozambican National Resistance) to overcome their differences through dialogue so that the country may unite in the fight against terrorists,” Filipe Nyusi said yesterday in Maputo at the end of a conference promoted by the Institute for Multiparty Democracy (IMD), alluding to the 30 years of multiparty democracy.
The Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), the country’s main opposition party, is going through an internal crisis, with an armed splinter group challenging the organisation’s president, Ossufo Momade, and carrying out armed attacks against civilian targets in the central provinces of Sofala and Manica which have claimed 30 lives since August 2019.
In his speech, the Mozambican head of state pointed out that the absence of “effective peace” in the country is a threat to the fundamental rights and freedoms achieved with the implantation of democracy.
“We note that throughout these 30 years of multiparty democracy, challenges remain which must be overcome in order to achieve effective peace,” the Mozambican president said, adding that attacks on human rights and distrust of electoral administration bodies were also a stain on the quality of Mozambican democracy.
For his part, the European Union ambassador to Mozambique, António Sánchez-Benedito Gaspar, said that the EU was committed to helping Mozambique consolidate the democratic rule of law.
“We are ready to help Mozambique to strengthen its capacity to respond to the multiple challenges it faces, including the situation in Cabo Delgado,” Gaspar said, stressing the importance of respect for human rights and emphasising that commitment to fundamental values are at the “heart” of cooperation between the EU and its partners.
António Sánchez-Benedito Gaspar highlighted Mozambique’s commitment to universal suffrage, stressing that the country has never failed to hold general elections every five years, since the first national election was held in 1994, and further reiterated the EU’s commitment to supporting the social and economic development of Mozambique.
Armed violence in Cabo Delgado has been going on for three years, and is causing a humanitarian crisis with around 2,000 killed and 500,000 people displaced, without adequate housing or food.
Sofala and Manica provinces, in the centre of the country, are the scene of attacks by the self-proclaimed Military Junta, a Renamo splinter group which rejects the leadership of Renamo president Ossufo Momade, accusing him of betraying the position of his predecessor Afonso Dhlakama in the negotiations that led to the signing of the Peace and National Reconciliation Agreement on August 6. — Lusa.