May 26, 2005

Renamo renews refusal for incorporations into police force

The former rebel movement Renamo has again refused the Mozambican government's offer to incorporate members of its "Presidential Guard" into the police force. A member of the Renamo Political Commission, Vitano Singano, said that Renamo would refuse to incorporate its men into the police for as long as there was no "acceptable political environment" in the country. Renamo's strategy was "to maintain a safe rearguard" in order to prevent any repetition of events such as those that had just happened in the northern town of Mocimboa da Praia. These "events" were the arrests of two Renamo parliamentary deputies, accused of causing a disturbance at a polling centre during a municipal by-election. Renamo needed a guarantee of security he said, because it did not trust the Mozambican police. There was no "healthy environment" that would permit the integration of the Renamo "guards" into the police. That would have to wait for "a better opportunity".
The "Presidential Guard" is an illegal Renamo force consisting of men who were not demobilised along with the rest of the Renamo and government armies in 1994. There are thought to be a couple of hundred of them living in the central districts of Maringue and Cheringoma, where they sporadically cause disturbances. The government offer to train and incorporate into the police members of the Renamo presidential guard dates back to 1997. And Renamo's refusal to allow its men to join the police dates back to early 1998. (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, Maputo) (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, Maputo)

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