Former Mozambique Rebel Leader Setting Himself Up For Another War?

Former Mozambicuan rebel leader Alfonso Dhlakama has moved out of government and returned to his former military base near close to Gorongosa Game Park.

Dhlakama says he has demands that need to be met by the ruling FRELIMO party and he is willing to negotiate from the bush. He has however ominously said that if any his members, some of whom left the capital with arms of war, are attacked then they will retaliate.

Dhlakama says he has no interest in war. The government says it is taking the situation seriously and has opened all possible avenues for a negotiated settlement.

Dhlakama wants greater inclusion of his fighters in the government and the power to veto elections.

With that sort of attitude, war or nothing, it is difficult to negotiate. The power to veto elections for example cannot rest in the hands of a political party. Otherwise we will have situations where no-one ever accepts defeat and moves on. The issue of the inclusion of his fighters in the army is probably something that is more delicate and probably more complex than an uninformed outsider can deal with.

The action will receive very little favour especially coming at a time when Mozambique is enjoying a period of peace and things are picking up in most fundamental aspects of life. Southern Africa is tired of war and we don’t think we fancy having our sons and daughters –  yes, Zimbabwe would probably send soldiers there –  dying because of the whims of a warlord.

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