Mariano Nhongo, the leader of Mozambique’s main opposition party has been killed by the army, AllAfrica reports on Monday.
Mozambique’s Defence and Security Forces (FDS) have confirmed that Mariano Nhongo, the head of a rebel hardline faction of the National Resistance (RENAMO), was killed in combat.
Security officials said Nhongo was killed in Sofala province at about 7am on Oct 11 after intense fighting in the forests where he was hiding.
Nhongo was known for his resisted laying down arms despite local and international efforts to demilitarise the African country. Just last week, President Filipe Nyusi said that FDS had reached out to RENAMO to see Nhongo’s surrender.
In fact, the National Resistance 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. Over three decades, there have been three peace accords between Frelimo and Renamo but all of them failed to be fully implemented.
Nhongo and his men opted out of RENAMO after Ossufo Momade was elected its president. Before his death, he declined to meet with Renamo’s leadership for talks.
He also repeatedly asked Mozambique’s President Nyusi to sign a new peace agreement, terming the one inked with Momade in August 2019 as ineffective.