Magazine article UN Chronicle

Observers Sent to Monitor Mozambique Cease-Fire

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Observers Sent to Monitor Mozambique Cease-Fire

Article excerpt

Welcoming the signing on 4 October in Rome of a General Peace Agreement for Mozambique between the Government and the Resistencia Nacional Mocambicana (RENAMO), the Security Council on 13 October endorsed the Secretary-General's proposal to appoint an Interim Special Representative and dispatch to Mozambique 25 military observers to monitor the newly-agreed cease-fire.

In unanimously adopting resolution 782 (1992), the Council said it looked forward to the report of the Secretary-General on the establishment of a UN Operation in Mozambique, to be called by its Spanish acronym, ONUMOZ.

"We believe that the sending of this first group of military observers is of paramount importance to our country and our people", Mozambique's Permanent Representative to the UN, Pedro Comissario Afonso, said to the Council before the vote. The holding of the cease-fire depended largely on the "adequate and active presence of the United Nations observers in the field", he added.

The Peace Agreement (S/24635), which brought a formal end to the 16-year civil war in Mozambique, requests the UN to take a "major role" in its implementation, specifically relating to the cease-fire, elections and humanitarian assistance.

The UN had been invited in June 1992 to participate as an observer in the peace negotiations, mediated by the Government of Italy since their beginning in July 1990.

The Agreement - signed by Mozambican President Joaquim Alberto Chissano and RENAMO President Afonso Macacho Marcela Dhlakama - calls for the cease-fire to be followed rapidly by demobilization of both forces and creation of a new 30,000-strong Mozambican Defence Force (FADM).

Elections in 1993

Under the Agreement, each side would contribute 15,000 troops to FADM within six months of the day the cease-fire went into effect on 15 October 1992 - known as E-Day. Meanwhile, new political parties will be formed in preparation for democratic general elections to be held one year after E-Day.

RENAMO is to continue its activities as a political party which, like all parties registered under the terms of the Agreement, will have "the right freely and publicly to propound its policies".

On 13 October, the Secretary-General appointed Aldo Ajello, an Italian national, as Interim Special Representative for Mozambique. He headed for the capital city of Maputo to assists in beginning the process of implementing the Agreement and ensuring access to all people in need of humanitarian assistance throughout the country.

He was to be in overall charge of UN activities in support of the Agreement, including monitoring its implementation, providing technical assistance to the electoral process, and executing specific tasks relating to military arrangements and humanitarian assistance.

According to a 9 October report (S/24642) outlining the initial UN plan for Mozambique, a team of 25 military observers, to be drawn from existing peace-keeping missions, would establish a presence in Maputo, Beira and Nampula. They were to: carry out limited verification of cease-fire arrangements; establish liaison with both parties in those regions and provide them with technical advice; facilitate the build-up of the mission; and carry out reconnaissance and other activities.

A 'new leaf'

In a 7 August Joint Declaration (S/24406), the two parties stated that they were "convinced that the suffering of the people of Mozambique, caused by the war and aggravated by the effects of the worst drought in living memory, necessitates the taking of expeditious measures to end the war". …

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