Assassination stalls Mozambique peace prospectsFrom ARIMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – THE assassination of a senior member of the opposition Mozambican National Resistance’s (Renamo’s) negotiation team has left troubled Mozambique on the verge of a new political crisis.
On Saturday, unknown gunmen shot dead Jeremias Pondeca on a Maputo beach, potentially blocking progress in its talks with the government.
Pondeca’s murder came just before the Joint Commission was due to resume its work.
Talks aimed at resolving long running problems with the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique were scheduled to recommence yesterday (Monday).
The murder comes as the rival parties have been deadlocked in talks aimed at resolving the crisis sparked by a general election held in 2014.
Renamo alleged the polls were rigged.
A series of meetings by the Joint Commission has not yielded results on a number of issues including Renamo’s demand for six provincial governors, end of hostilities and the inception of Renamo militia in the army and police.
Thousands of Mozambicans have fled the insurgency by Renamo and are living in dire conditions in impoverished neighbouring countries.
On Monday, the European Union appealed for calm in the Southern African country.
“All Mozambican parties wish for peace for Mozambique and must stay committed to the peace negotiations and refrain from any action that endangers a process supported by the Mozambican people,” a spokesperson said.
More than 1 million people died during the Mozambique civil war between 1977 and 1992.
– CAJ News
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