Wednesday 3 September 2014

Gorongosa, Mozambique - Sant’Egidio’s commitment to promote reconciliation and peace

While in various regions of the world the threats to peace are rising, after an August marked by the news coming from Gaza, northern Iraq, Ukraine, and during the days in which we remember the 100th anniversary of World War One and of the outbreak of World War Two, it is comforting to register the fact that some conflicts are dying out and that the demons of war can be shackled by reasonableness and reconciliation.
Yes, peace is possible, peace can be the present and the future. This is shown by what is happening in the forests of central Mozambique, in the Gorongosa region. There, Mons. Matteo
Zuppi, auxiliary bishop of the Roman diocese and Carlo Calenda, the Italian Deputy Minister for economic development, met with Afonso Dhlakama, leader of RENAMO and historical opponent of the governing FRELIMO. During the past few months, Dhlakama, having fought a few decades ago a long guerrilla war, was in some ways tempted to return to fighting.
As they did 22 years ago - on October 4th, 1992, the peace that brought an end to the Mozambique guerrilla war was signed in Rome - the Community of Sant’Egidio and the Italian government worked to reach an agreement that would recreate the modus vivendi between the two sides for the good of the country and in view of the elections of mid-October.
After the conclusion of the negotiations in Maputo, the meeting in Gorongosa made it possible to iron out the last remaining difficulties. The leader of RENAMO expressed its desire to return to the capital and work on the implementation of the agreements. A similar commitment has been reaffirmed also by the sitting President, Armando Guebuza. 

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