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Afonso Dhlakama Mozambique veteran rebel leader has passed away: party sources

Afonso Dhlakama Mozambique veteran rebel leader has passed away: party sources

Afonso Dhlakama Mozambique’s veteran rebel leader who had mixed guerilla warfare with opposition politics has passed away at the aged of 65,said party sources on Thursday.

Some sources in Dhlakama’s Renamo party stated that Dhlakama has passed away due to an unconfirmed heart attack, as local television stations are also reporting the death.

Dhlakama led Renamo for 39 years, the rebel group which fought a 16-year war against the ruling Frelimo party till 1992 and then appeared as an opposition party that still retained armed fighters.

Since 2013 he has been hiding in the Gorongosa mountains due to the periodic conflict which break out again in the country.

However recently Dhlakama had held a meeting with the President Filipe Nyusi, where he was seen playing a major role in developing the country’s peace process.

Dhlakama announced to make peace with the government in December 2016 which seemed to be leading toward a possible formal peace accord.

Nyusi and Dhlakama met in February in Gorongosa to talk over arms reduction and recuperation.

Together they had agreed on constitutional reforms that would decentralize power.

Currently the reforms are under debate in parliament, which will permit voters to directly elect provincial governors, who at the moment are selected by the president.

Renamo wanted better reorganization of power and better integration of its supporters into the police and military, which remained sticking points in discussions.

In October 2019 Mozambique will hold a presidential, legislative and provincial election according to observers Renamo has lately increased its public support.

Since independence from Portugal in 1975 Frelimo has ruled the country.