Sunday, January 08, 2017
New Mozambican Bishop of Chimoio Diocese urges peace
The newly-appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Chimoio in Mozambique, João Carlos Hatoa Nunes has told Radio Vatican’s Maputo-based correspondent, Hermínio José, that assurances for peace in the country as declared by both the FRELIMO Government and opposition RENAMO are encouraging.
The former Auxiliary Bishop of Maputo urged the two political parties to seize the moment and make the most of it by ensuring that attaining peace becomes a priority in the nation.
Bishop João Carlos said both FRELIMO and RENAMO need to listen to the cry of the people who thirst for peace. The Bishop emphasised that all actors in the stalled peace process need to do everything they can for the sake of lasting peace.
Shortly after Christmas, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi was quoted by Radio Mozambique as saying that there is every reason to hope that effective peace could be reached in 2017.
Nyusi revealed that the RENAMO opposition leader, Afonso Dhlakama had phoned him, and the two had had a long telephone conversation hence the optimism.The Mozambican head of State has since reaffirmed his willingness and openness to political dialogue with Dhlakama.
Dhlakama has responded by announcing the extension of his party’s temporary ceasefire to 4 March 2017.
In a press conference, on Monday this week, Dhlakama expressed satisfaction with assurances from Nyusi that the government’s security forces would refrain from attacking RENAMO and stop the kidnappings of its members and delegates.
According to the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), FRELIMO and RENAMO have been discussing on and off for some time, even as a deadly low-level war between the two groups continues.
ISS says the current conflict revolves around RENAMO’s demand for power to be devolved to it in the central provinces, where it has the most support.
RENAMO strongholds feel excluded from the economic benefits that FRELIMO has extended to areas under its control. The government has always resisted real decentralisation, for fear of losing control.
In his 50th Papal Message for the World Day of Peace, observed annually on 1 January, this year Pope Francis called for a renewed culture of nonviolence to inform global politics saying military responses to conflicts only breed more violence.