The leader of the main opposition group - the Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) - Afonso Dhlakama, died on Thursday, May 3. Gatherings may occur in areas where RENAMO enjoys support such as the central provinces, as well as in the vicinity of RENAMO offices in major urban centers, such as in the capital Maputo. His death has not yet provoked a deterioration in security conditions; however, it may plunge the country into incertitude as RENAMO and the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) party were in the midst of a peace agreement.
Dhlakama led RENAMO since 1979. RENAMO and FRELIMO fought a civil war from 1976 to 1992, resulting in a million fatalities before a peace agreement was brokered.
Government forces and RENAMO's militia have clashed occasionally following the announcement of results from the 2014 presidential election, which RENAMO disputed. However, fighting generally occurs in rural areas of the northern and central Mozambique. Since President Filipe Nyusi won the 2014 presidential election, RENAMO has called for control over the six provinces in which it received the majority of the votes.
Both parties agreed to an indefinite truce in May 2017 after a ceasefire was announced in December 2016 and a formal peace process to end the conflict between RENAMO and the government was ongoing. Dhlakama was due to run for the presidency in the 2019 presidential elections.
Individuals in Mozambique are advised to monitor the situation and avoid all gatherings as violence may flare up without warning.
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