On Saturday, October 13, the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), the country's main opposition party, threatened to withdraw from peace talks with the governing party, the Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO), after accusing the ruling party of falsifying election results. RENAMO alleges that FRELIMO, which claimed victory in 44 of Mozambique's 53 municipalities following the October 10 elections, committed electoral fraud in order to secure victory in Monapo, Alto Molócué, Moatize, and Matola. RENAMO also requested that electoral results in Marromeu be reviewed. Although early tallies saw a convincing FRELIMO lead, RENAMO claimed victory in dozens of municipalities nationwide. FRELIMO has called the RENAMO threats "blackmail" and demanded they be rescinded. Demonstrations in the contested municipalities, as well as across the country, are likely if RENAMO abandons ongoing peace talks.
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.
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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