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Mozambique President, Rebel Chief Sign Deal

  • VOA News

Mozambique President Arnando Guebuza, left, and former Renamo rebel leader Afonso Dhlakama, right, shake hands after signing a peace accord, Sept. 5, 2014.

Mozambique President Arnando Guebuza, left, and former Renamo rebel leader Afonso Dhlakama, right, shake hands after signing a peace accord, Sept. 5, 2014.

Mozambique's president and opposition leader have ratified a peace deal, ending two years of low-level conflict that raised fears the country would return to civil war.

President Armando Guebuza and opposition chief Afonso Dhlakama affixed their signatures to the deal Friday at a ceremony in the capital witnessed by diplomats and journalists.

Dhlakama's Renamo party and the government, led by the ruling Frelimo party, formally signed the deal last week, paving the way for Dhlakama to come out of hiding in the bush and return to Maputo.

For two years government forces and fighters loyal to Renamo have clashed periodically, after Renamo said it was pulling out of the 1992 peace accord that ended the brutal 17-year civil war.

Frelimo has ruled Mozambique since the country won independence from Portugal in 1975. Dklakama has accused the ruling party of monopolizing political and economic power in the southern African country.

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