International military observers arrive in Mozambique

As part of the recent peace agreement to end military hostilities between the Mozambican government and the former rebel movement Renamo, invited military observers arrived in the capital of Maputo on Tuesday, 9th September. The first to arrive was a contingent of high ranking South African soldiers. Also invited are military representatives from Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Cape Verde, Italy, Portugal, United Kingdom and the United States. It is expected that these foreign observers will remain in the country for 135 days, a period which can be extended if need be.

These observers will supervise the ceasefire, disarmament and the integration of Renamo personnel into the Mozambican Armed Forces and police. The implementation of the agreement will cost Mozambique around US$18 million. Last Friday the current Mozambican president, Armando Guebuza and the Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama formally confirmed the agreement during a ceremony in Maputo.

The southern African country is holding its fifth general election (since independence from Portugal in 1975) in October, to elect its fourth president who will replace the current incumbent, Mr Guebuza.