Mozambique president Filippe Nyusi has given in to the demands by Renamo leader to accep the presence of foreign mediators in talks to end his country’s conflict, giving a ray of hope to Malawians whose people have been caught in the cross fire.
Nyusi told the BBC on Friday Frelimo and Renamo will now agree on the mediators as soon as possible so that the peace talks kick off immediately.
“People are dying, people can’t travel, people are sleeping in the bush in trees. I have told Alfonso [Dlhakama] (Renamo) leader that we have to agree on the mediators,” said Nyusi on BBC Focus on Africa.
Malawi former president Bakili Muluzi has offered to take up the mediation role along with other former heads of state from Sadc region, saying the escalation of skirmishes was destabilising the region.
Nyusi said he had talked to Dlhakama and agreed to jointly choose the mediators.
“Our children are not going to school, this has to come to an end,” he said.
The President said the Renamo escalation of attacks on people and infrastructure had forced him to change his position on the matter.
At least four Malawians have been killed in Mozambique whilst four trucks, four of them fuel tankers have been burnt by Renamo militias.
The government of Malawi has since asked Malawian transporters to avoid using the shorter Tete route when going to South Africa and take a longer via Zimbabwe route.
The rebel group, which is also the official opposition in Mozambique, never completely disarmed after a civil war with the governing Frelimo party and launched a low-level guerrilla campaign in late 2012.
Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama said he was pleased by Nyusi’s move. He said that he spoke with the president by phone on Wednesday and Thursday “about the politico-military conflict in our country, and we reached an agreement that guns do not solve anything“.
But Dhlakama said he would not order the Renamo guns to fall silent. Instead, he demanded that the government stop attacking his forces, the state news agency reported.