High Commission of the Republic of Mozambique

Senior figure in Renamo Military Junta demobilised

Maputo, 6 Dec (AIM) – The man widely believed to be the number two in the dissident “Renamo Military Junta”, Joao Machava, has abandoned the junta and joined the demobilization of the Renamo militia, according to a report in the Sunday paper “Domingo”.

As from June 2019, Machava was the spokesperson for the Junta, and its leader Mariano Nhongo. In mid-2019, Machava, who calls himself a brigadier, lined up with Nhongo in denouncing the leader of Renamo, Ossufo Momade.

The Junta claimed that Momade was “a traitor”, and that Nhongo was the real lender of Renamo. The Junta refused to accept the peace agreement signed between Momade and President Filipe Nyusi in August 2019, and tried to resume Renamo’s war, by ambushing vehicles on the main roads in the central provinces of Manica and Sofala. But Machava now seems to have broken with Nhongo. He handed over hIs weapons and was demobilised on Friday at the Renamo military base of Ribye, in Mabote district, in the southern province of Inhambane.

Machava told “Domingo” that he was pleased at his demobilization, and intends to go home to his family, without any guns in his hands. His family lives in Chokwe district in the neighbouring province of Gaza. He said he planned to rejoin Mozambican society by resuming his former life as a farmer.

Machava is the first well-known figure in the Junta who has agreed to join the demobilization. It is not yet known what effect his decision will have on other members of the Junta.