Mozambique govt, opposition Renamo sign historic peace pact

The national flag of Mozambique. 

File: The national flag of Mozambique. 

Wikimedia Commons

MAPUTO - Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo opposition leader Ossufo Momade on Thursday signed a landmark agreement aimed at formally ending decades of hostilities, state TV said.

The signing took place at Renamo's remote military base in the Gorongosa mountains in central Mozambique, 27 years after the end of the country's first civil war.

The two leaders hugged after penning the deal on a mounted stage in Gorongosa.

Thursday's agreement brought an end to a long peace negotiation process initiated by Renamo's historic leader, Afonso Dhlakama, who died in May last year, and comes just months before general elections in October.

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It also comes as Nyusi's administration is battling a jihadist insurgency in the northern parts of the country which has claimed more than 250 lives since October 2017.

Soon after Mozambique gained its independence from Portugal in 1975, Renamo fought a brutal 16-year civil war against the Frelimo government, a conflict that left one million people dead before the fighting stopped in 1992.

The rebel movement then entered politics after a 1992 peace pact which was signed in Rome, paving the way for multi-party elections in 1994.