from ARIMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO – THE successful political dialogue between the government and Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO), culminating in the signing of an agreement on cessation of military hostilities, is a major development in the quest for ‘African solutions for African problems.’
Lauded globally, it is a major reinforcement to the continent’s flagship project of ‘Silencing the Guns’ and a major boost to the A’frica We Want’ aspirations of the continental bloc.
Signed by President Filipe Nyusi of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) –led government and RENAMO leader, Ossufo Momade, this breakthrough, is anticipated to enable the Southern African country to realise its full potential following years of tensions.
This week, leaders from across the continent converged in the capital Maputo for the landmark Peace and Reconciliation Agreement ceremony.
An air of optimism permeated Mozambique, an unprecedented development in a country which despite the end of a decades-long civil war 27 years ago, has been characterised by intermittent conflict.
Mozambique is still reeling from devastating effects of cyclones, most tragically Idai that left more than 600 people dead with more than 500,000 others displaced.
“This (peace agreement) is another sign that Africans can find solutions to their problems,” said Claude Nikobisanzwe, Ambassador of Rwanda to Mozambique.
Moussa Faki, head of the African Union Commission (AUC) saluted Mozambicans and the leadership of Nyusi and Ossufo, describing the landmark deal as a great step towards national reconciliation and unity.
“As you all know, peace, security and sustainable development are our top priorities in the continent to achieve the Africa We Want. Therefore I welcome the signing of this peace agreement,” Faki said.
Faki urged the international community and the private sector to make the most of the atmosphere of peace and reconciliation, to invest in the ongoing Mozambique reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.
The Mozambique peace deal has buoyed the mood in the AU ahead of the upcoming signing political agreement in Sudan.
It is scheduled for August 17.
María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, also welcomed the historic peace deal.
“This agreement brings hope for lasting peace and development to Mozambique,” she said.
The peace deal paves way for the holding of peaceful elections in the nation with an estimated population of over 30 million people.
Polls are set for October 15 and are again projected to be a two-horse race between FRELIMO and RENAMO.
João Lourenço, the President of Angola, said the agreement gave back lasting peace to Mozambicans and would be beneficial to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional bloc and the continent.
Mozambique is endowed with vast resources particularly gas fields discovered from 2011.
“The huge potential of Mozambique could serve the interest of the people of this country and Southern Africa region,” Lourenco said.
Mozambique plays key role in the region’s economy.
Its main ports provide access to international markets to countries of the landlocked countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Mozambique breakthrough is undoubtedly the biggest development as SADC prepares for the 39th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held in Tanzania on August 17-18.
– CAJ News