October 4, 2007

No alternative to peace, says President

Mozambican President Armando Guebuza has declared that the county had no alternative but to maintain the peace secured 15 years ago with the agreement signed between the government of his predecessor, Joaquim Chissano, and the apartheid-backed rebel movement Renamo, which put an end to the war of destabilisation. In a broadcast to the nation marking the anniversary of the agreement signed in Rome on 4 October 1992, Guebuza said that in 1992 Mozambicans had united "to overcome an obstacle which was trying to block our path towards well-being". Peace should be preserved, he declared, as something "precious and indispensable for the life and progress of the entire Mozambican nation".
It was the climate of peace that had allowed the Mozambican economy to grow over the past decade at an average rate of seven per cent a year, bringing "more schools, more health posts and more sources of clean drinking water to our people", Guebuza added.
Peace "has favoured economic and social growth, which is turn has led to improved living conditions", he said. "But the Mozambican people deserve more, and thus we shall continue to work hard for the prosperity of Mozambique". He urged all Mozambicans to celebrate the 15 years of peace "by renewing our commitment to self-esteem, tolerance, dialogue, and respect for differences and for the spirit of inclusion". The President wanted to see "an ever more inclusive society", and a determination "to multiply and diversify ouy actions in the struggle against poverty".
His speech has also to been seen in context Renamo’s boycotts during the Peace Anniversary Celebrations. The only one who was present was Renamo's chief negotiator, Raul Domingos - who was expelled from Renamo in 2000, and now leads the country's third largest party, the PDD (Party for Peace, Development and Democracy). Dhlakama and the rest of the Renamo leadership boycotted the ceremonies. (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, Maputo)

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