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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs