Mozambique: Natural Gas reserves make it a corporate target

Image Source: Steve Evans

Image Source: Steve Evans

Maputo, Mozambique (nsnbc) – Mozambican President Felipe Nyusi reached out to Renamo on Tuesday, saying that he and his administration were eager to continue a dialog with Renamo for the sake of peace but that he could not hold a dialog that was based on unconstitutional demands. The former “rebel movement” Renamo still maintains an illegal military presence as the country is poised to developing into one of the world’s largest exporters of liquefied natural gas by 2020.

Speaking in the town of Chokwé in the southern Gaza province, President Felipe Nyusi who won the 2014 presidential elections for Frelimo, said that his government could not yield to unconstitutional pressure from the side ofRenamo.

Nyusi reaffirmed that he was willing to continue a dialog with Renamo which took significant losses on all levels during the 2014 General, that is Presidential, Parliamentary and Regional Elections.

Nyusi reiterated his disappointment over the development by stressing that over 1,000 meetings between the governing Frelimo and the opposition party and insurgency Renamo since April 2013 had not led to any conclusive agreements and results.Nyusi stressed that this dialog, however, had to be based on the constitution which he has sworn to uphold and defend. Nyusi’s statement was the first public statement in response to meetings with Renamo leader Alfonso Dhlakama in February. Regrettably, Nyusi said, these two meetings have not produced any results. He stressed that without peace, there is no chance for any development.

Nyusi added that his government continues to be committed to peace. Mozambique had been plagued by a 16-year-long civil war that ended with a peace agreement in 1992 that was implemented in 1993.

Nyusi praised especially local Renamo leaders for their willingness to talk but added that in the end, dialog is of little consequence if it does not end in tangible and concrete results. He added that there, for the time being, was no war in Mozambique but that the absence of war is not equivalent to peace.

Nyusi’s statement was a clear reference to Renamo militant’s infiltration of the Gaza, Inhambane and other provinces and attempts to re-establish former bases, strongholds and control.

This re-militarization happens in spite of the post-2014 election agreement between Nyusi and Dhlakama to cease hostilities and to disarm Renamo gunmen. Nyusi stressed that to date“not a single Renamo gunman has been disarmed”.

Nyusi stressed the urgent need for national unity as the country is developing into a major exporter of resources and as Mozambique is about to celebrate 40 years of independence from Portuguese colonial rule.

Renamo began re-boosting its insurgency in 2012 after new surveys concluded that Mozambique could develop into the world’s second-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas by 2020. Competition about Mozambican gas resources is especially marked by conflicting U.S. American and Chinese interests.

During the 16-year-long Mozambican civil war Renamo was designated as an “anti-communist rebel movement” by the United States while Renamo received substantial support from the at that time still British colony Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, and Apartheid South Africa. Arguably, Mozambique’s gas resources have again attracted conflicting global player’s attention to a country that has previously gone through a devastating cold war proxy conflict.

Author: Christof Lehmann

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