Mozambique has slowly but steadily forged ahead on the path to durable peace, as progress was achieved in the process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), said the Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General to the country in a statement on Thursday.
The envoy, Mirko Manzoni, also the chairperson of the international contact group supporting the peace process in Mozambique, made the remarks on the anniversary of the signing of the landmark peace and reconciliation agreement between President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo’s leader, Ossufo Momade.
Manzoni said the standout moment over the past 12 months was the restart of DDR activities in Savane and Dondo, both districts of the central province Sofala, which saw 304 former combatants return home.
“While there is a lot of work to be done to ensure all the remaining combatants arrive safely home, the progress made so far fills me with hope. Peace is taking a foothold in Mozambique,” said the envoy in the message.
Commendable progress was also made in decentralization and critical legislations and policies and rules governing the operation of key decentralized provincial bodies have been passed to facilitate the deepening of decentralization, read the message.
Despite the challenges posed by natural disasters and a situation of great concern in the north, the country has remained true to the pursuit of peace, according to the statement.
Manzoni said the attacks in the center of the country continue to cause distress and his group appeal to all involved to join the call for peace and use dialogue as the only means for expression.
“We are hopeful that one year from now we will be able to mark this important date together having demobilized all combatants,” he said.