Mozambican Opposition Head, President Signal Willingness to Talk

Mozambican opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama may soon be ready to emerge from hiding and resume talks with President Filipe Nyusi after what his party claims were two attempts this month by government forces to kill him, he told television station STV.

Dhlakama, leader of the National Resistance of Mozambique, or Renamo, told the independent television station by phone that he “will not seek revenge through war.” Government troops were provoking conflict in Manica province, where he has taken refuge, delaying his emergence from hiding, he said. Dhlakama is “in the bush,” Renamo spokesman Antonio Muchanga said by phone Monday from the capital, Maputo, without giving details.

Nyusi, elected president of the gas-rich southern African nation in October 2014, said Sunday at a ceremony commemorating the 23rd anniversary of a peace accord that ended the civil war with Renamo, that he is “hopeful that within a very short space of time we shall be talking again,” state news agency AIM reported.

Tension has escalated this month between Renamo and Nyusi’s Front for the Liberation of Mozambique, or Frelimo. Mozambican police opened a criminal case against Dhlakama and other Renamo personnel who were part of a convoy involved in a Sept. 25 shooting that left 24 people dead. Dhlakama fled the attack and has been in hiding since then. Renamo said a Sept. 12 attack on a convoy transporting Dhlakama was ordered by Nyusi.

Companies are considering developing projects in Mozambique that could make it the world’s third-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

MAP: Mozambique

Dhlakama and Nyusi met twice in February, after Renamo rejected the election results. They agreed that Renamo could present to parliament a proposal that would have allowed Renamo to govern roughly half of the country where it won more votes than Frelimo. The Frelimo-dominated parliament rejected the proposal in April.

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