Mozambique’s Renamo Demands International Mediation for Talks

Mozambique’s main opposition party called for international mediation in talks with the government to resolve a political crisis after a series of attacks in which eight people died last month.

“We demand Southern African Development Community and European Union observers and national facilitators to mediate the dialogue,” Simon Macuiane, the lead negotiator for Mozambique National Resistance, or Renamo, told reporters in the capital, Maputo, yesterday. “We also need the police to withdraw from positions surrounding Renamo’s headquarters and release 15 militiamen.”

Renamo fought a 15-year civil war against the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique, or Frelimo, that ended in 1992. Renamo claimed responsibility for last month’s attacks, and last year threatened to resume the conflict amid complaints that elections in 2009 were unfair.

Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco, who heads the government’s delegation to the talks, told reporters Renamo’s demands should be considered.