Mozambique launches initiative to disarm, reintegrate opposition fighters

MAPUTO (Reuters) – Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi on Saturday launched an initiative to disarm and reintegrate the military wing of the country’s main opposition party, Renamo, as part of efforts to bolster peace and security.

Renamo and Nyusi’s ruling Frelimo party fought on opposing sides of a 16-year civil war that killed an estimated 1 million people before a peace accord ended the fighting in 1992.

Violence has flared up sporadically since, including after Renamo challenged the results of the natural gas-rich southern African country’s 2014 elections.

“The end goal of this process is to rid the country of unconstitutional armed forces … in the quest for an effective, sustainable and transparent peace,” Nyusi said at the launch of the demobilization and reintegration initiative in Maputo, Mozambique’s capital.

Nyusi said international experts from countries such as the United States, India and Germany would oversee the initiative, which will see some Renamo fighters getting jobs in the army and police.

Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama died earlier this year. He had been due to run for the presidency in next year’s elections.

(Reporting by Manuel Mucari; Editing by Alexander Winning)

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