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US, UK observers’ absence delays start of Mozambican opposition demilitarization

The International Observer Military Team for the Cessation of Military Hostilities (EMOCHM), formalized 27 days ago, remains incomplete. The two US and two British military observers have not yet arrived and this is delaying the start of the mission that should have started on 11 October and should end with the demilitarization of the Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo).

The delay and the lack of an explanation from these countries are making the government and Renamo unhappy. They expressed this after the 82nd round of talks on 27 October in Maputo. The military team should comprise 23 foreign observers -three from South Africa, three from Botswana, two from Cape Verde, three from Kenya, three from Zimbabwe, three from Italy, two from Portugal, two from Britain, and two from the United States -and 70 Mozambican observers r! epresenting the government and Renamo.

“We have a leadership deficit in the Sofala sub-command which comes under Britain’s control and whose colonel has not yet arrived. We are trying to ensure that he arrives but if he does not we have a Plan B for the work to proceed normally and to guarantee that by 2 November Sofala will have a command,” the government chief negotiator, Jose Pacheco, said.

EMOCHM’s mission is to oversee the demilitarization of the largest opposition party, Renamo, and the integration of its residual men in the Mozambican Armed and Defence Forces (FADM) and the Mozambican National Police, as well as the social and economic integration of those lacking the physical conditions.

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