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)
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

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More