The leader of a rebel faction of Renamo, Mozambique’s main opposition party, Mariano Nhongo has been killed by the army.
Mozambique’s Defence and Security Forces (FDS) announced on Monday that Nhongo, the head of a rebel faction of the Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo), was killed in combat.
Security officials said Nhongo was killed along with one of his collaborators, Ngau Kama, in Sofala province at about 7am on Monday after intense fighting in the forests where he was hiding.
Nhongo, a hardline leader, had resisted laying down arms despite local and international efforts to demilitarise Mozambique. Just last week, President Filipe Nyusi said that FDS had reached out to Renamo to see Nhongo’s surrender.
Renamo had fought a 16-year war against the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) party until 1992, then became the country’s main opposition party. It however retained armed insurgents.
Frelimo and Renamo have inked peace three peace accords since 1992. All failed to be fully implemented, with the most recent being signed in August 2019.
Nhongo and his men opted out of Renamo after Ossufo Momade was elected its president. He was accused of being behind small attacks against the population in central Sofala and Manica provinces that have claimed 30 lives. Before his death, he declined to meet with Renamo’s leadership for talks.
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