Renamo spurns Mozambique unity government offer

Efforts to find a truce between Mozambique’s warring parties have suffered a blow after the opposition Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) turned down an offer to join a coalition government.

Renamo leader Alfonso Dhlakama spurned an offer by international mediators to assume a new role as deputy president in a proposed coalition with the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) of President Felipe Nyusi.

He instead insists it be given power to govern in some provinces it claims it won. It wants to rule Sofala, Manica, Zambezia and Tete in the centre of the country and Nampula and Niassa in the north.

“It is impossible to work with Frelimo due to ideological beliefs. Frelimo is still Marxist. To be vice-president for Mozambique signifies being Frelimo again, something that is highly unacceptable,” Dhlakama said. He argued that he was once a Frelimo activist at a young age and insists there is no way he would work with the party.

Dhlakama asserts the election in 2014 was rigged.

Former Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete is leading a mediation team that also involves Italian Mario Raffaelli, former Botswana president Quett Masire as well as former British prime minister Tony Blair.

Renamo has intensified civil unrest in the country. Foreign buses, cargo haulage trucks and some individuals passing to Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe have been targeted.

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