Mozambique Peace Talks With Opposition Frozen Amid Impasse

  • Disageements after government, opposition first met last week
  • Insurgency that resumed 2013 has left hundreds of people dead

Talks between Mozambique’s government and an opposition party that began July 21 were suspended after disagreements, a mediator said, stalling a bid to end violence that’s killed hundreds of people.

“Several impasses” between the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique and the opposition Renamo delegations led to the dialogue being frozen, Mario Raffaelli, who represents the European Union in the talks, told reporters late Saturday in the capital, Maputo.

“We need time among us to prepare suggestions, proposals that could help the negotiation,” he said. “The suspension time will be as soon as possible but now we can’t say the resumption date.”

Considered a success story since a 16-year war ended in 1992 and the discovery of one of the world’s biggest gas fields, Mozambique is now struggling with a debt crisis and rising political tensions.

Renamo resumed an insurgency against the government in 2013, with the latest round claiming more than 300 lives, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, a project run by the University of Sussex in the U.K. The violence has threatened transport links for mining companies in the coal-producing nation and slowed down trucks headed to neighboring countries hauling merchandise that’s imported through Mozambican ports.

The government and Renamo agreed in June to include international mediators in talks to end the violence. Other mediators are from South Africa, Tanzania and the Vatican.

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