Mozambique Forces Kill Hardline Leader of Opposition Faction
Mozambican security forces killed the leader of a hardline rebel faction of the main opposition party who’d refused to join an international effort to demilitarize.
Mariano Nhongo, leader of the so-called Renamo Military Junta, was killed in combat, Police Chief Bernardino Rafael told reporters Monday in the capital, Maputo.
Nhongo’s death could help bring an end to the low-level conflict that’s damaged security in central Mozambique. It may also enable the government to concentrate its military resources in the northeastern Cabo Delgado province, where it’s fighting to consolidate gains against an insurgency linked to Islamic State. That conflict has already delayed first production at TotalEnergies SE’s $20 billion natural gas project by two years to 2026.
Fighters led by Nhongo have been on the run in the center of the country after refusing to demobilize under a peace deal that the Mozambican government signed with Renamo to disarm its military wing and for its members to join the national army. Nhongo had since 2019 demanded reopening negotiations with the government, and the state blamed his faction for a number of attacks on vehicles in the center of the country.
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