Mozambique's main opposition party, RENAMO, postponed peace talks with the government on Wednesday, October 24, after it accused the ruling FRELIMO party of fraud in recent elections. Opposition leaders have called on the Constitutional Court, as well as an independent UN electoral commission, to investigate the outcome in at least five municipalities, including in Matola, a densely populated suburb of the capital Maputo. Demonstrations in the contested municipalities, as well as across the country, are likely if RENAMO loses its appeal for an inquiry by the high-court.
RENAMO and FRELIMO fought a civil war 1977-92 which left over 1 million people dead. Following renewed violence in 2013, the parties entered peace negotiations in 2016, resulting in the disarmament of RENAMO fighters as well as starting their reintegration into the police and military. RENAMO's challenge of the October 10 election results is the first time the party has contested results in over ten years, which has renewed concerns of widespread violence between the two parties' supporters. Opposition leaders, who have condemned a military solution to the dispute, have not indicated how long peace talks will remain on hold, saying it will instead focus on "manag[ing] the electoral conflict."
Individuals in Mozambique are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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