Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma today welcomed the signing of a peace agreement between Mozambican President Armando Guebuza and Afonso Dhlakama, the leader of Renamo, the opposition political party, ahead of next month’s presidential, parliamentary and regional assembly elections.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma today welcomed the signing of a peace agreement between Mozambican President Armando Guebuza and Afonso Dhlakama, the leader of Renamo political party, ahead of next month’s presidential, parliamentary and regional assembly elections.
“We commend all those who have played a part in reaching this landmark agreement,” the Secretary-General said.
“On behalf of the Commonwealth, we acknowledge the commitment shown by President Guebuza and Mr Dhlakama in the interest of peace and development for the citizens of Mozambique,” Mr Sharma added.
The Secretary-General said the Commonwealth seeks always to encourage the settling of disputes through mediation. Welcoming the accord as a significant breakthrough Mr Sharma offered continuing support, mentioning in particular that the Commonwealth is currently working with the electoral management body of Mozambique to train its commissioners and staff in the prevention, mitigation and management of electoral conflict ahead of the polls on 15 October.
The training is supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat in partnership with the Mozambique National Electoral Commission, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa.
“Elections present opportunities for citizens to make choices about their leaders, but because of their competitive and contested nature, they can sometimes result in polarisation, leading to disputes. Our Commonwealth approach is that we seek always to find common ground, and encourage all parties to invest in peaceful settlement of disputes - the alternative is too costly,” Mr Sharma said.