Leaders of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) have warned Renamo, Mozambique’s largest opposition party, that it will face unspecified consequences if it continues to try to cause instability in the former Portuguese colony.
The warning is contained in a communique that was issued at the end of a first ever joint summit between the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in Pretoria, South Africa.
Speaking to Malawian journalists when she landed at Chileka Airport, SADC chair President Joyce Banda said the regional bloc is urging the Renamo leader Alfonse Dhlakama to consider the consequences of his actions in both Mozambique and the region.
“The message from SADC is very clear. If Mr. Dhlakama is trying to cause trouble in Mozambique, he is causing trouble for SADC. Therefore he must be prepared for a SADC response for any trouble he may create in Mozambique,” said President Banda.
President Banda recalled that Malawi hosted over 3 million Mozambican refugees during that country’s civil warfrom 1976 to 1992 “which was a big burden, indeed” and said this should not be allowed to happen again.
After 21 years of peace, Renamo has annulled its peace accord with Frelimo, the ruling party and its erstwhile civil war opponents.
Renamo leader Dhlakama retreated into Gorongosa mountains last year when he began retraining several hundred guerrilla fighters.
That was where Renamo maintained their Casa Banana base during the civil war. Tension between Renamo and Frelimo has been rising since the 20th anniversary of the peace accord in October 2012.
In April of that year, Renamo fighters raided a police station in Sofala province, a Renamo stronghold in central Mozambqiue.