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Mozambique Opposition Leader Vows to Sign Peace Deal by November

FILE - Renamo's Afonso Dhlakama speaks to reporters after voting in general elections in Maputo, Mozambique, Oct. 15, 2014.

Afonso Dhlakama, the leader of Renamo, the Mozambican opposition, says he will sign a peace deal with the government by early November, in a bid to end almost three years of sporadic violence.

Renamo and the ruling Frelimo party fought on opposing sides of a civil war from 1976 to 1992 in which a million people died before a peace accord ended the fighting.

Violence has flared up again since Renamo challenged results of the southern African nation's 2014 elections.

"It will be in October or November, no later than the beginning of November," Dhlakama told the weekly independent newspaper Canal de Moz. His remarks were quoted by Noticas, the pro-government daily paper, on Thursday.

Dhlakama said his party was negotiating cautiously with the government to avoid a deadlock, which has seen previous talks collapse.

Issues still being discussed include the decentralization of powers, constitutional reforms to allow provincial governors to be elected, and the reintegration of Renamo's staff into the police and army.

Renamo wants governors to be elected in 2019, seeing it as a chance to rule areas where it has popular backing.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and Dhlakama met in early August for the first time since 2015 to discuss the next steps in the peace process, which they hoped would be completed by the end of the year.