Felipe Nyusi, Filipe Nyusi - Mozambique

The face of President Filipe Nyusi beams from flags billowing across Mozambique’s city of Beira, where T-shirts and posters colour the streets with his Frelimo party’s signature red in what is usually an opposition stronghold. Frelimo’s show of force ahead of presidential, provincial and legislative elections on Oct. 15 could signal problems for the main opposition party Renamo, and also threaten a peace agreement signed between the two civil war rivals in August. While Nyusi is all but certain to be re-elected president, the peace deal has given Renamo hope of winning more political power in a country dominated by Frelimo since the southern African country’s independence from Portugal in 1975. Under the deal, provincial governors will now be picked by the main party in each province, rather than the government in Maputo, and Renamo is banking on traditional provincial strongholds such as Sofala to gain influence. “The biggest threat to the peace process is if Renamo does not deliver a good number of provinces,” said Alex Vines, head of the Africa programme at Chatham House. The elections come at a difficult time for Mozambique, a poor country with a population of 30 million. Cities such as Beira were smashed by two devastating cyclones this year and there is a festering Islamist insurgency in the north, which is right on the doorstop of blockbuster projects to develop vast natural gas reserves. The projects led by oil giants such as Exxon Mobil Corp and Total are expected to attract investment ofContinue reading

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Pope Francis - Vatican News

Pope Francis urged the people of Mozambique on Thursday to nurture their hard-earned peace and strive to provide equal opportunities for all so as not to slip back into civil war. Francis addressed President Filipe Nyusi of the ruling Frelimo party and leaders of the Renamo opposition at the colonial-style presidential palace, where peacocks roamed lush gardens in contrast to bustling streets outside. The two sides in the former Portuguese colony fought a 15-year civil war that ended in 1992 and killed about a million people. But only last month did they sign a permanent ceasefire. “In the course of these years, you have come to realize how the pursuit of lasting peace – a mission incumbent upon all – calls for strenuous, constant and unremitting effort. For peace is like a delicate flower, struggling to blossom on the stony ground of violence,” Pope Francis told them. Some fear that as the country of 28 million people approaches new elections scheduled for next month, violence could break out, particularly in rural areas where the former rebels have more sway. Ossufo Momade, leader of Renamo, was in the audience for the papal address and received a round of applause when the president mentioned him. In his address to the pope, the president vowed to help build a nation “where non-violence becomes a culture lived by all, where politics is practiced through the force of argument and not the force of arms.” But Francis said if they wanted lasing peace, leaders hadContinue reading

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Felipe Nyusi, Filipe Nyusi, Ossufo Momade - Renamo - Mozambique

“We will no longer commit the mistakes of the past,” Ossufo Momade said this week as Renamo fighters turned in their arms. “We are for a humanized and dignified reintegration and we want the international community to help make that a reality.”Continue reading