News / Africa

Mozambique Government to Talk with Renamo Rebels

Former Renamo rebels being re-trained for combat at a remote bush camp near Mozambique's Gorongosa mountains, November 8, 2012. (J. Jackson/VOA)
Former Renamo rebels being re-trained for combat at a remote bush camp near Mozambique's Gorongosa mountains, November 8, 2012. (J. Jackson/VOA)
TEXT SIZE - +
— Mozambique’s government has agreed to talks demanded by former rebel group - turned opposition party Renamo.  This comes after Renamo’s leader, Afonso Dhlakama, last month returned to a remote former military base, threatening to plunge his country back into war unless the government agreed to talk to him.  
 
Mozambique has been on edge since Renamo’s president, Afonso Dhlakama, moved back to an old bush camp in the remote Gorongosa Mountains and began giving civil war-era soldiers refresher courses on how to use guns.  This development cast a pall over peace celebrations in October, and led to fears of a return to the brutal 16-year civil war in which over a million Mozambicans died.
 
Twenty years after the war ended, Renamo members believe they have never benefited from the peace agreement and multi-party democracy.  The ruling Frelimo party has won every election since 1994 and Renamo is crying foul.
 
Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina has designated for his agriculture minister to lead the talks, which will take place in Maputo soon.  
 
Cabinet spokesman Henrique Banze made clear that these are not formal negotiations but rather exploratory talks to understand Renamo’s grievances.
 
He says what is happening is Renamo asked for an audience to explain what they think.  The government is bringing nothing to the table but needs to understand what issues they want to discuss.  
 
Renamo has high hopes for the talks, and says it wants them to lead to what the party calls a transitional government.  The former rebels also want to talk about a better distribution of the country’s resources.  Renamo accuses the Frelimo of cashing in on vast coal and natural gas reserves set to earn the country billions of dollars in the coming decade.
 
Renamo spokesman Fernando Mazanga denies the party is putting the screws on the government, in order to get a slice of the action.
 
He says we don’t want the resources for Renamo but we want to be the spokesmen for the Mozambican people.  Mazanga says only when an agreement is reached and signed will Dhlakama agree to leave the bush camp and military training ground.
 
A date for the talks has not yet been set.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid